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.

European retail trade down

European Retail Trade volumes, Oct 2013: Eurostat

  • In October 2013 compared with September 2013, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade fell by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU28
  • In September retail trade decreased by 0.6% and 0.4% respectively.
  • In October 2013 compared with October 2012 , the retail sales index fell by 0.1% in the euro area and rose by 0.5% in the EU28.

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.

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.

Euro area annual inflation down

Euro area annual inflation, September 2013: Eurostat

  • Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.1% in September 2013, down from 1.3% in August,
  • Food, alcohol & tobacco is expected to have the highest annual rate in September (2.6%, compared with 3.2% in August), followed by services (1.5%, compared with 1.4% in August), non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, compared with 0.4% in August), and energy (-0.9%, compared with -0.3% in August).

Business Activity, Size, Location

UK Business: Activity  Size and Location, 2013: ONS

  • The number of VAT and /or PAYE businesses is estimated to have risen by 18,000 (0.9%) between March 2012 and March 2013.
  • Companies and public corporations represent 64% of total businesses.
  • The largest industry group is professional, scientific and technical with 16.9% of all registered businesses.
  • London has the largest number of VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises with 17.2% of the UK total.
  • The number of businesses rose over the last couple of years, following a decline since 2008