Indicators looking up

Business Trends: BDO

  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance in two quarters time, increased for the eighth consecutive month – from 98.0 in August to 100.7 in September, its highest level since April 2010. The figure has risen beyond the 100.0 mark, the level at which the economy is expected to achieve its long-run average trend growth rate over the coming six months, suggesting that economic growth will pick up speed in the next two quarters.
  • The Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, also continued its upward trend this month, reaching a 30-month high of 99.5 in September, up from 98.3 in August.
  • The Inflation Index, which predicts short-run business cost inflationary pressures, recorded a fifth consecutive decline to 100.6 in September from 101.0 in August.

UK is the least difficult market for retailers to expand into

Annual global retail study: EC Harris

  • The UK has surpassed Germany as the least difficult market for retailers to expand into while emerging economies in the East remain some of the most difficult in the world.
  • The annual Index  ranks 40 important international retail markets according to five factors that have a major impact on successful retail expansion, including: quality of infrastructure, capability of the construction supply chain, legal framework, quality of project delivery and business environment.
  • Whilst many of the top ranking countries are those with established markets, strong infrastructure and a well-developed consumer base, those that rank lower include developing BRIC nations such as Russia and India, and Egypt where recent political unrest has impacted its accessibility and desirability as a market for retail expansion.

Volume of European retail trade up

Volume of European retail trade, August 2013: Eurostat

  • In August 2013 compared with July 2013, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 0.7% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU28
  • In July retail trade gained 0.5% in both zones.
  • In August 2013 compared with August 2012 , the retail sales index fell by 0.3% in the euro area and rose by 0.3%  in the EU28

European unemployment stable

European unemployment, August 2013: Eurostat

  • The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.0% in August 2013, stable compared with July.
  • The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.9%, also stable compared with July .
  • In both zones, rates have risen compared with August 2012, when they were 11.5% and 10.6% respectively.
  • In August 2013, 26.595 million men and women were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 19.178 million were in the euro area.
  • Compared with July 2013, the number of persons unemployed remained nearly stable in both the EU28 and the euro area.
  • Compared with August 2012, unemployment rose by 882 000 in the EU28 and by 895 000 in the euro area.