Online shoppers don’t have a lot of time to wait around

Online shoppers: LivePerson

  • Seventy one per cent  (UK 73%) expect to be able to access help when purchasing online within five minutes, while 31% (UK 32%) expect this help to be immediate. 48% would go elsewhere or abandon the purchase altogether – with the highest figures in the UK (58%)
  • 82% (UK 84%) believe getting their issue resolved quickly is the most important customer service issue

English Business Survey

English Business Survey, Nov 2012: BIS

At last, something has happened that the EBS can report (other than this stayed the same and there was no difference with that):

  • The proportion of businesses in England (45%) reporting output being higher than it was three months earlier was the highest reported since the survey began (October 2011).
  • London outperformed the other regions of the UK on measures of output and employment and is the most optimistic region, with the largest positive balance scores for expectations of future output and employment.
  • The North West was the worst performing region with the lowest balance scores for both output and employment.
  • Businesses in the West Midlands have the most pessimistic expectations of output and those in Yorkshire and the Humber are most pessimistic about employment.

World Economic Outlook Update

World Economic Outlook Update: IMF

  • Global growth is projected to increase during 2013
  • Upturn is projected to be more gradual than projected in the October Update
  • In the euro area, the return to recovery after a protracted contraction is delayed. The near-term outlook for the euro area has been revised downward. Activity is now expected to contract by 0.2 percent in 2013 instead of expanding by 0.2 percent.
  • Economic conditions improved modestly in the third quarter of 2012
  • Global financial conditions improved further in the fourth quarter of 2012. However, a broad set of indicators for global industrial production and trade suggests that global growth did not strengthen further.

UK Expenditure Index

UK Expenditure Index, Dec 2012: Visa Europe

  • Marginal reduction in UK household spending indicated. Month-on-month fall of -0.9% recorded in December (November: 0.1%).
  • Year-on-year spending was -1.7% lower (November: -1.4%).
  • Underlying spending down following recent strong growth: December 3m/3m rate at -0.9% (November: 1.8%).
  • High street spending principal source of weakness in final month of 2012.

Retail employment

Retail employment Monitor: BRC

  • Retail employment rose by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier, driven entirely by part-time workers.
  • In fourth quarter 2012, the number of outlets fell 3.6%, the fastest rate since the Monitor started in October 2008.
  • In December, there were 573 fewer stores in our sample compared with last year.
  • Half of retailers suggested that they would decrease staffing levels in the first quarter of 2013 compared with just a third at the same time last year.

Crime against businesses

Crime against businesses: Headline findings from the 2012 Commercial Victimisation Survey: Home Office

  • There were 9.2 million crimes against the four sectors covered by the 2012 CVS in the year prior to interview.
  • The majority of these (7.7 million) were experienced by premises in the wholesale and retail sector, which is the largest of the four sectors covered.
  • Premises in the wholesale and retail sector also experienced the highest rate of crime of the sectors (19,701 incidents per 1,000 premises) covered in the survey, mostly driven by shoplifting offences.
  • There were a total of 4.1 million incidents of shoplifting estimated from the survey, almost half the total number of crimes across all four sectors covered by the survey.
  • Manufacturing premises experienced relatively low rates of crime across all crime types compared with other sectors.
  • Transportation and storage premises had the highest rate of vehicle-related theft (506 incidents per 1,000 premises over the year).
  • Accommodation and food premises experienced the highest rate of assaults and threats (2,073 incidents per 1,000 premises over the year).