Online retail sales

Online Retail Sales Monitor: BRC

  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 14.3% in February versus a year earlier.
  • In February 2013, they had increased by 12.3% over the previous year.
  • In February, online sales represented 17.5% of total Non-Food sales of our Monitor, against 15.4% in February 2013.
  • Online sales contributed 2.1 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales. Excluding online, Non-Food store sales would have been down in February: half of the categories – Clothing, Footwear and Other Non-Food – would have shown a decline.

Upgraded growth forecast from BCC

Upgraded growth forecast from BCC

  • The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has upgraded its growth forecasts for the next two years – from 2.7% to 2.8% in 2014 and from 2.4% to 2.5% in 2015.
  • UK GDP expected to exceed  its pre-recession peak in Q2 2014 – one quarter earlier than forecast in December
  • UK GDP quarterly growth is forecast at 0.7% in Q1 2014, easing slightly to 0.6% in Q2 2014, before averaging 0.6% per quarter until the end of 2016.
  • The first increase in UK interest rates expected in Q3 2015 to 0.75%
  • Wage growth predicted to exceed inflation from mid-2014
  • The youth unemployment rate is expected to remain almost three times the national average over the forecast period (2014 – 2016)
  • Unemployment rate expected to fall from 7.2% in Q4 2013 to 6.0% in Q4 2016
  • Growth in 2016 expected to be 2.5%.

Retail trade volume up

Retail Trade volume up: Eurostat

  • In January 2014 compared with December 2013, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 1.6% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.9% in the EU28
  • In December 2013 retail trade fell by 1.3% and 0.7% respectively.
  • In January 2014 compared with January 2013 retail trade increased by 1.3% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU28.

European GDP

European GDP: Eurostat

  • GDP rose by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU28 during the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with the previous quarter.
  • In the third quarter of 2013, GDP grew by 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28.
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.5% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU28 in the fourth quarter of 2013, after -0.3% and +0.2% respectively in the previous quarter.
  • Over the whole year 2013, GDP fell by 0.5% in the euro area and rose by 0.1% in the EU28.

Young people in the labour market

Young people in the labour market: ONS

  • The number of people aged 16 to 24 in full-time education has more than doubled over the last 30 years
  • 69% of young people not in full-time education were employed at the end of 2013
  • The proportion of young people undertaking work alongside full-time study has been falling since the year 2000
  • Young people are most likely to work in the lowest skilled jobs in the economy
  • In the final quarter of 2013 the youth unemployment rate was similar to that in 1984
  • Around 13 in every 100 young people were unemployed, in the final quarter of 2013
  • The youth unemployment rate in the UK was lower than the European Union average in 2013
  • Wokingham had the highest youth employment rate, for those not in full-time education, across England and Wales
  • Hartlepool and Wolverhampton had the highest unemployment rates for young people who are not in full-time education across England and Wales
  • Barking and Dagenham had the highest inactivity rate for young people who are not in full-time education across England and Wales
  • Of all young people across local areas, Barking and Dagenham has the highest percentage who state they are not working because they are looking after the family or home. Neath Port Talbot has the highest percentage who say they are long term sick or disabled.