No growth in Q4 but better in 2019 as a whole

GDP monthly estimate, UK: December 2019 – ONS

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) was flat in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019
  • Growth in both services and construction was offset by a fall in production, which resulted in 0.0% GDP growth in the three months to December 2019
  • Rolling three-month growth weakened for the third month in a row in December 2019
  • Headline GDP grew by 1.4% in 2019

 

Unemployment shows slight fall

Little change in unemployment

Labour market overview, UK: December 2019 – ONS

Main points for August to October 2019

  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%, 0.3 percentage points lower than a year earlier but largely unchanged on the previous quarter.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.8%, 0.2 percentage points lower than a year earlier but largely unchanged on the previous quarter.
  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.2%, 0.4 percentage points higher than a year earlier but little changed on the previous quarter; despite just reaching a new record high, the employment rate has been broadly flat over the last few quarters.

Community ownership of vacant shops: can this save the High Street?

Take Back the High Street: Putting communities in charge of their own town centres – Power to Change Report 

Greater community ownership of high street properties could lead to many fewer empty shops, compared to ownership by private-sector interests such as real estate companies and overseas investors.

  • Shops owned by overseas investors are more than twice as likely to be vacant as shops owned by the public sector
  • Real estate companies own one in four of all empty shops, and overseas investors own one in five; whereas the public sector and social sector [2] own around one in ten each
  • Just 8% of units owned by the social sector are vacant, and 4.5% of those owned by the public sector – compared to 9.2% for real estate companies, 9.6% for overseas investors, 11.9% for institutions like pension funds, and 13% for investment management schemes