Unemployment rate at 4%

UK labour market: February 2019 – ONS

October to December 2018

  • There were an estimated 1.36 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 14,000 fewer than for July to September 2018 and 100,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was estimated at 4.0%,
  • There were an estimated 8.63 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking nor available to work), 94,000 fewer than for July to September 2018 and 153,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was estimated at 20.9%.
  • There were an estimated 32.60 million people in work, 167,000 more than for July to September 2018 and 444,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was estimated at 75.8%
  • There were an estimated 844,000 people (not seasonally adjusted) in employment on zero-hours contracts in their main job, 57,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

 

Inflation rate down

Consumer price inflation, UK: January 2019 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.0% in December 2018.
  • The largest downward contribution to the change in the 12-month rate came from electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices overall falling between December 2018 and January 2019 compared with price rises the same time a year ago.
  • These downward effects were partially offset by air fares, with prices falling between December 2018 and January 2019 by less than a year ago.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.1% in December 2018.

Growth lowest for six years

GDP monthly estimate, UK: December 2018

Headline annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 1.4% in 2018, the lowest it has been in six years. Meanwhile, the services sector had annual growth of 1.7%, the lowest since 2011 and the production sector had annual growth of 0.7%, the lowest since 2013. Construction annual growth was 0.6%, the lowest since 2012. Construction growth contracted in Quarter 4 2018, the first negative three-month growth since May 2018

UK gross domestic product grew by 0.2% in Quarter 4 2018

Rolling three-month growth slowed further to 0.2%, after growth of 0.3% in November 2018

GDP fell by 0.4% in December 2018

CPIH down in December

Consumer price inflation, UK: December 2018

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.0% in December 2018, down from 2.2% in November 2018.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.1% in December 2018, down from 2.3% in November 2018.

Inflation up to 2.5%

Consumer price inflation, UK: July 2018 – ONS

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.5% in July 2018, up from 2.4% in June 2018.

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in July 2018, unchanged from June 2018.
  • Rising prices for computer games and transport fares produced the largest upward contributions to change in the 12-month rate between June and July 2018, although computer game prices tend to be highly variable from month to month.
  • The upward effects were offset by falls in prices for clothing and footwear, and the removal of initial charges for investment in some unit trusts.
  • Prices for clothing and footwear fell by 0.4% between July 2017 and July 2018, the first time the 12-month rate has been negative since October 2016.

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.

GDP increases by 0.5%

Gross domestic product, preliminary estimate: October to December 2017 – ONS

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.5% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2017, compared with 0.4% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2017.
  • The dominant services sector, driven by business services and finance, increased by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter, although the longer-term trend continues to show a weakening in services growth.
  • Production industries grew by 0.6%, boosted by the second consecutive quarter of strong growth in manufacturing.
  • Growth in manufacturing was partially offset in total production by a significant fall in oil and gas extraction, caused by the well-publicised repair work made to the Forties pipeline.
  • Construction contracted for the third quarter in a row, although annual growth between 2016 and 2017 was very strong at 5.1%, due to a strong start to 2017.
  • GDP was estimated to have increased by 1.8% between 2016 and 2017, slightly below the 1.9% growth seen between 2015 and 2016.