Unemployment rate falls

Labour Market Statistics, Oct 2013: ONS

  • The unemployment rate for June to August 2013 was 7.7% of the economically active population, down 0.1 percentage points from March to May 2013. There were 2.49 million unemployed people, down 18,000 from March to May 2013.
  • The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for June to August 2013 was 22.2%, down 0.2 percentage points from March to May 2013. There were 8.95 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 83,000 from March to May 2013.
  • The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for June to August 2013 was 71.7%, up 0.3 percentage points from March to May 2013. There were 29.87 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 155,000 from March to May 2013.
  • Between June to August 2012 and June to August 2013 total pay rose by 0.7% and regular pay rose by 0.8%.

Shop price deflation

Shop price index: BRC

  • Overall shop prices reported annual deflation for the fifth consecutive month in September, slowing to 0.2% from the 0.5% decline reported in August.
  • Food inflation rose to 2.9% in September from 2.5% in August.
  • Non-food reported annual deflation of 2.0% in September from 2.3% in August.

Profitability of companies

Profitability of UK Companies, Q2 2013: ONS

  • Private non-financial corporations’ profitability, as measured by their net rate of return, was estimated at 11.4% in quarter two 2013, about the same as the typical level experienced in the last year and a half but lower than the levels experienced in 2011.
  • Manufacturing companies’ net rate of return was estimated at 7.2% in quarter two 2013. Along with quarter one 2013 this is the lowest level seen since quarter one 2003.
  • Service companies’ net rate of return was estimated at 15.1% in quarter two 2013, the same as in quarter one 2013 but higher than the levels seen in the last two and a half years, with the exception of quarter three 2012.
  • UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) companies’ net rate of return was 37.4% in quarter two 2013, above the levels seen in the last year but below the levels seen in 2011 and quarter one 2012.
  • Non-UKCS companies’ net rate of return was 10.7% in quarter two 2013, well within the range of data seen in the last few years.

Economic outlook (from the IMF)

World Economic Outlook: IMF October

  • Global growth is in low gear, and the drivers of activity are changing.
  • The euro area is crawling out of recession, but activity is forecast to stay tepid
  • Advanced economies are growing again but must continue financial sector repair, pursue fiscal consolidation, and spur job growth.
  • Emerging market economies face the dual challenges of slowing growth and tighter global financial conditions.

Retail and Online sales up

Retail Sales up: BRC & Online sales growing: BRC

  • UK retail sales were up 0.7% on a like-for-like basis from September 2012, when they had increased 1.5% on the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales were up 2.4%, against a 3.4% increase in September 2012 and in line with the 12-month moving average.
  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 13.4% in September versus a year earlier, on a weighted basis.
  • In September 2012, the unweighted RSM non-food non-store indicator had increased by 9.9% over the previous year.