European GDP: Eurostat

  • GDP fell by 0.6% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.5% in the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter.
  • In the third quarter of 2012, growth rates were -0.1% and +0.1% respectively.
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 0.9% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2012, after -0.6% and -0.4% respectively in the previous quarter
  • Over the whole year 2012 GDP fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27.

Changes in real earnings in the UK and London

Changes in real earnings in the UK and London, 2002 to 2012: ONS

  • After three decades of strong growth, real wages peaked in 2009. Since then inflation has outstripped wage increases in cash terms.
  • In real terms, the average earnings of UK employees in 2012 were at 2003 levels.
  • Employees working in London earn more on average than UK employees and their average real earnings fell less rapidly from 2010 to 2012


BoE Inflation Report

Quarterly Inflation Report: Bank of England

  • The MPC continues to judge that the UK economy is set for a slow but sustained recovery in both demand and effective supply
  • CPI inflation is likely to rise further in the near term and may remain above the 2% target for the next two years.
  • Inflation is expected to fall back to around the target thereafter, as a gradual revival in productivity growth dampens increases in domestic costs and external price pressures fade.
  • Growth is likely to remain weak in the near term

Employee Outlook

Employee Outlook: CIPD

  • The Engagement Index shows that the proportion of employees engaged has reduced this quarter. Engagement is highest in small organisations (60% in micro businesses for instance) and decreases as the size of the organisation increases (31% in large organisations).
  • Job satisfaction has also seen a slight decrease this quarter (+44; +47 for the previous two quarters). Respondents from the private sector continue to be most satisfied with their jobs (+48), with voluntary sector respondents in the middle (+41) and the public sector showing the lowest levels of job satisfaction and the largest decrease since last quarter (+33 down from +47).
  • Respondents from the voluntary sector (62%) are now most likely to feel fully or fairly well informed about what is happening within their organisations, with respondents from the private (50%) and public (48%) sectors lagging behind.
  • Public sector employees are significantly more likely to report they are under excessive pressure than employees in the other two main sectors, with 46% saying they are under excessive pressure either every day (17%) or once or twice a week (29%).
  • Public sector respondents are most likely to report a pay freeze, with 71% saying this is the case. The proportion of private sector employees reporting a pay freeze has remained unchanged at 34%, while 41% of voluntary sector respondents report a pay freeze

Expenditure Index

Expenditure Index, January 2013: Visa

  • Month-on-month rise of 1.0% registered in January (December: -1.0%).
  • Year-on-year spending was -0.9% lower (December: -1.8%).
  • Fall in underlying spending recorded in January, with rate of decline little changed: December 3m/3m rate at -1.3% (December: -1.0%).
  • Online spending rose markedly in January, but high street suffers in the face of heavy snow.

Consumer Price Indices

Consumer Price Indices, Jan 2013: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual inflation grew by 2.7% in January 2013, unchanged for the fourth month in a row. This is the longest period for which the CPI growth has remained unchanged.
  • The largest upward pressures came from alcohol and air fares.
  • Miscellaneous goods & services and clothing provided the largest downward pressures.
  • The CPI stands at 124.4 in January 2013 based on 2005 = 100.
  • The Retail Prices Index (RPI) annual inflation grew by 3.3% in January 2013, up from 3.1% in December 2012.
  • The RPI stands at 245.8 in January 2013 based on January 1987 = 100

Business confidence index

Business confidence index / trade confidence index: BCC

Exports rise 1.4% in Q4 2012 – up 5.2% on Q4 2011

  • Nearly half of exporters (45%) said their export sales increased, compared to 13% of respondents, who said that they decreased;
  • In the service sector, export sales increased for 46% of firms, up from 42% in Q3; in manufacturing, export sales increased for 45% of businesses, up from 34% in Q3;
  • 59% of exporters feel that their turnover will increase in 2013. 50% believe that their profitability will improve in 2013;
  • More than a quarter of firms (27%) said they expected to increase staff this year, down from 31% in Q3