Footfall on the increase

Footfall and vacancies monitor: BRC

  • Footfall in April was 1.0% higher than a year ago, an improvement on the 5.2% fall in March.
  • This is the strongest performance since December 2011 when footfall increased 5.7%.
  • High streets reported the greatest rise (3.4%), the strongest performance since December 2011, followed by out-of-town (0.3%).
  • The national town centre vacancy rate in the UK was 11.9% in April 2013, up from 10.9% in January 2013, the highest rate since the survey began in July 2011.
  • Footfall in shopping centres fell 3.0% in April, its worst performance since January 2013.



Crisis hits the poor hardest

Crisis hits the poor hardest: OECD

  • Income inequality increased by more in the first three years of the crisis to the end of 2010 than it had in the previous twelve years
  • The welfare state has cushioned the blow for many but warns that further social spending cuts in OECD countries risk causing greater inequality and poverty in the years ahead
  • The richest 10 per cent of the population in OECD countries earned 9.5 times the income of the poorest 10 per cent in 2010, up from 9 times in 2007

Homeworking on the increase

Analysis of unpublished data: TUC 

  • The number of people working from home has increased by 13 per cent in the last five years
  • Just over four million employees usually worked at home in 2012, a rise of 470,000 since 2007.
  • 65% of people who work from home are male
  • The majority of homeworking jobs created in the last five years have gone to women.
  • The rise in female homeworking is partly due to the fact that almost nine in ten (86.8 per cent) of these new jobs are part-time.

Bank of England Inflation report

Inflation Report, May 2013: Bank of England

  • In the United Kingdom, the economic recovery remains weak and uneven. Domestic demand increased moderately during 2012, but this was largely offset by a pronounced fall in exports.
  • Employment continued to grow strongly. The weakness of productivity suggests that the financial crisis may still be weighing on the current effective supply capacity of the economy as well as on demand.
  • The MPC judges that the growth of both demand and effective supply are likely to pick up gradually over the next year or so, supported by past asset purchases, an easing in credit conditions aided by the Funding for Lending Scheme, and a continuing improvement in the global environment. But the legacy of adjustment and repair left by the financial crisis means that the recovery is likely to remain weak by historical standards.
  • CPI inflation remains above the 2% target and is set to edge higher over coming months. Inflation is likely to stay above the target for much of the next two years, bolstered by external price pressures and administered and regulated prices. But inflation is expected to fall back to around 2% in the latter part of the forecast period, as external price pressures fade and a gradual revival in productivity growth curbs increases in domestic costs.

The British Chamber of Commerce said:

While we have always felt that the earlier gloom over the UK economy has been exaggerated, the positive trends outlined within Governor King’s final Inflation Report appear to be too optimistic

Census: Characteristics for LAs in England and Wales

Characteristics for LAs in England and Wales: ONS

  • White: Irish was the oldest ethnic group, with a median age of 53, compared to the national median of 39. People in the White: British ethnic group had a median age of 42.
  • People in mixed ethnic groups had the lowest median ages, with the Mixed: White and Black African having a median age of 16.
  • People with a White: British, White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller or Mixed ethnic group were more likely to record a UK country specific (such as English or Welsh) national identity, whereas other ethnic groups were more likely to record their national identity as “British”.
  • The White: other and White: Irish had the lowest proportion within their ethnic group associating with any of the UK national identities – 22 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.
  • Almost half (46 per cent, 3.4 million) of those born outside the UK held a UK passport in 2011.
  • Of the population who did not speak English as a first language, those in the younger age groups were most likely to speak English well, with 93 per cent (154,000) of 10-14 year olds speaking it well, compared to only 46 per cent of those aged 85 or over.
  • Different religious groups had significantly different age profiles, with Christians having the highest median age (45) and Muslims the lowest (25).
  • 58 per cent (3.3 million) of people providing unpaid care were female and 47 per cent (2.7 million) were aged 45 to 64.

International comparisons: the economy

Measuring National Well-being: ONS

  • In international comparisons of household income the UK has dropped  from 5th place in 2005 to 12th place in 2011. This is partly as a result of the devaluation of sterling seen in this period.
  • Since 2009 inflation has remained high compared to the US, France and Germany but has been relatively less volatile
  • Despite falling 12 places between 2005 and 2011 when looking at rankings based on unemployment, the UK labour market has been more resilient in than previous recessions
  • In terms of household spending and wealth, the UK has remained relatively strong compared with other OECD countries
  • Despite falling two places in the rankings since 2005, the UK still fares relatively better under Net National Income than Gross Domestic Product

Frances Grady of the TUC said:

“The combination of recession and austerity has taken its toll on household finances, with income levels in the UK falling behind many of its European neighbours. ‘Even before the recession, household spending in the UK was far more reliant on debt than in other advanced economies. In order to address this as a country we need to obsess less about housing bubbles and focus instead on securing decent pay rises and creating better paid jobs.”