A fall in NEETs

NEET Quarterly Brief – January to March 2014: DfE

The proportion of young people NEET fell across all summary age groups and was the lowest on record for 16-18 year olds.

  • This was driven by a fall in the proportion of each age group not in education or training (NET) and a rise in the employment rate of the NET group.
  • The 16-18 NEET rate fell 1.5 percentage points in the year to January to March 2014 to 6.7% which is the lowest since comparable data began in 2001.
  • The 19-24 NEET rate fell by 2.3 percentage points (to 15.9%) in the same period and the overall 16-24 rate fell by 2.0 percentage points* (to 13.1%)

The NET rate also fell across all summary age groups.

  • The proportion of 16-18 and 16-24 year olds NET in January to March 2014 was the lowest since comparable data began in 2001.
  • The NET rate for 16-18 year olds was 13.3% which is a fall of 1.4 percentage points in the year including a fall of 1.6 percentage points in the proportion of 16 year olds NET.
  • The 19-24 NET rate fell by 0.6 percentage points (to 57.5%) and the overall 16-24 NET rate fell by 0.8 percentage points (to 43.9%)
  • The 16, 17 and 18 year old NET rates were all the lowest since comparable data began in 2001.

 

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Retail sales increase – highest year-on-year growth

Retail Sales, April 2014: ONS

  • In April 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 6.9% compared with April 2013 and by 1.3% compared with March 2014. This was the highest year-on-year growth in the quantity bought since May 2004 and continued a pattern of year-on-year growth since early 2013.
  • The underlying pattern, as expressed by the rolling three-month-on-three month growth rate, was one of growth, with the quantity bought increasing by 1.8%.  This was the highest since March 2004 and was the 14th consecutive month of three month-on-three month growth in the quantity bought.
  • With the exception of petrol stations, all stores saw year-on-year increases in sales volumes.  Notably the food sector posted its strongest year-on-year growth since January 2002, increasing by 6.3%. Feedback from food store retailers suggested that a better than expected Easter and better weather conditions helped to boost sales.
  • Food store retailers also suggested that promotions helped to boost sales and this was reflected in the slowing of average price growth in the food sector: consistent with the consumer prices index (CPI) published on 20 May 2014, the rate of food store price inflation decreased to 0.9%, down from 1.8% in March 2014.  Food stores provided the main contribution to the fall in the all retail rate of store price inflation, which fell by 0.6% in April 2014.
  • In April 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 6.2% compared with April 2013 and by 0.6% compared with March 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in April 2014 was £7.0 billion compared with £6.5 billion in April 2013 and £6.8 billion in March 2014.
  • Following a weak March, the amount spent online increased by 13.3% in April 2014 compared with April 2013 and by 2.6% compared with March 2014

European GDP up

European GDP up, Q1: Eurostat

  • Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.3% in the EU28 during the first quarter of 2014, compared with the previous quarter.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2013, GDP grew by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU28.
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2014, after +0.5% and +1.0% respectively in the previous quarter.

Unemployment falling

Labour Market Statistics, May 2014: ONS

  • There were 2.21 million unemployed people for January to March 2014, 133,000 fewer than for October to December 2013 and 309,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 6.8% of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) for January to March 2014, down from 7.2% for October to December 2013 and down from 7.8% for a year earlier.
  • There were 8.85 million economically inactive people (those out of work but not seeking or available to work) aged from 16 to 64 for January to March 2014. This was 85,000 fewer than for October to December 2013 and 155,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • 21.9% of people aged from 16 to 64 were economically inactive for January to March 2014, down from 22.1% for October to December 2013 and down from 22.4% for a year earlier. The inactivity rate has not been lower since October to December 1990.
  • There were 30.43 million people in work for January to March 2014, 283,000 more than for October to December 2013 and 722,000 more than a year earlier. These increases in employment are partly due to more self-employed people.
  • 72.7% of people aged from 16 to 64 were in work for January to March 2014, up from 72.1% for October to December 2013 and up from 71.4% for a year earlier.

UK Retail Sales Growth

Retail Sales Monitor, April 2014: BRC

  • UK retail sales were up 4.2% on a like-for-like basis from April 2013, when they had decreased 2.2% on the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales were up 5.7%, against a 0.6% fall in April 2013.
  • The 12-month total sales growth now stands at 2.8%, ahead of the average CPI over the 12 months to March at 2.3%
  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.2% in April versus a year earlier. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 16.1% in April, the lowest since April 2013.

European retail trade volume

European retail trade volume, March 2014:  Eurostat

  • In March 2014 compared with February 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.3% in both the euro area (EA18) and the EU28
  • In February retail trade increased by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively
  • In March 2014 compared with March 2013 the retail sales index increased by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.6%  in the EU28