Inflation falls

Consumer price inflation, UK: February 2018: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.7% in February 2018, down from 3.0% in January 2018.
  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.5% in February 2018, down from 2.7% in January 2018.
  • The largest downward contributions to the change in the rate came from transport and food prices, which rose by less than a year ago.
  • Falling prices for accommodation services also had a downward effect.
  • Rising prices for footwear produced the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution.

Retail Sales

Retail sales in Great Britain: Aug 2016 – ONS

  • In August 2016, the quantity bought (volume) of retail sales is estimated to have increased by 6.2% compared with August 2015; all store types except textile, clothing and footwear, and household goods showed growth with the main contribution coming from food stores.
  • The quantity bought decreased by 0.2% compared with July 2016; the largest contribution to the decrease came from non-food stores which was offset by increases in non-store retailing, predominantly food stores and petrol stations.
  • The underlying pattern in the retail sector is still one of growth with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 1.6%.
  • The amount spent (value) in the retail industry increased by 4.1% compared with August 2015 and decreased by 0.5% compared with July 2016.
  • The amount spent online increased by 18.5% compared with August 2015 and increased by 0.4% compared with July 2016.
  • Non-seasonally adjusted average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 1.9% in August 2016 compared with August 2015.

Retail sales growth

Retail Sales, September 2015: ONS

  • Year-on-year estimates in the quantity bought in the retail industry continued to show growth for the 29th consecutive month in September 2015, increasing by 6.5% compared with September 2014.
  • The underlying pattern in the data, as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought, showed growth for the 22nd consecutive month, increasing by 0.9%.
  • Compared with August 2015, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.9%.
  • Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 3.6% in September 2015 compared with September 2014, the 15th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls.
  • The amount spent in the retail industry increased by 2.7% in September 2015 compared with September 2014 and by 1.4% compared with August 2015.
  • The value of online sales increased by 15.2% in September 2015 compared with September 2014 and increased by 4.5% compared with August 2015

March footfall higher

Footfall Monitor, March 2014: BRC

  • Footfall in March was 1.8% higher than a year ago, significantly up on the 2.9% fall in February and above the three-month average of 0.4%.
  • Footfall on the high street was 2.6% higher than the previous year for March, the largest rise in eleven months
  • Out-of-Town reported the greatest rise, 3.0% higher than a year ago, while footfall in shopping centers was down 0.5% on the previous year.

(Unfortunately, it looks like Easter was quieter than we all hoped)

More women starting businesses on the High Street

Female entrepreneurs take charge of high street growth: FSB

  • Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) data used in a BBC report shows the UK’s high streets have seen a dramatic number of women starting-up businesses than at any previous time
  • Half (49.5%) of small firms established in the past two years in retail, or hotels, catering and leisure are owned primarily by women
  • This is in stark contrast to high street businesses started more than 20 years ago. When the FSB last surveyed its members it found that only a quarter (24%) of these businesses were primarily female owned

Businesses optimism on a high

Business Trends: BDO

  • UK business optimism reached its highest level for 22 years in January, indicating that the economy will continue to grow rapidly over the coming six months
  • The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, reached 103.8 in January, up from 103.4 in December. This is the highest reading ever recorded since readings began 22 years ago and sits well above the 100.0 mark, meaning the UK is expected to outperform its long-term historical growth trend
  • The Employment Index rose to 101.3, up from 99.4 the previous month. The index now stands at its highest level since August 2008 and above the crucial 100.0 mark for the first time since March 2011, signalling that UK job creation is likely to exceed trend growth over the coming months
  • The Inflation Index read 97.9 in January, its lowest level since November 2009 and down from 98.7 at the end of last year.

Social media use by businesses

ICT usage in enterprises in 2013: Eurostat

  • In 2013, almost three quarters of enterprises employing 10 persons or more in the EU28 had a website, an increase of 6 percentage points compared with 2010 (73% compared with 67%).
  • In the EU28, 30% of enterprises used at least one type of social media in 2013, although only 8% of enterprises had a formal policy for social media use.
  • 28% of enterprises in the EU28 used social networks (e.g. Facebook) in 2013, 11% multi-media content sharing websites (e.g. YouTube), 10% blogs or micro blogs (e.g. Twitter) and 6% wiki-based knowledge-sharing tools.