Retail Sales volume dips

Retail Sales, June 2015: ONS

  • Compared with May 2015, the quantity bought in the retail industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.2%. Falls were reported by predominantly food stores, other stores, household goods stores and petrol stations.
  • Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry continued to show growth for the 27th consecutive month in June 2015, increasing by 4.0% compared with June 2014. This was the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008, when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern in the data, as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought, continued to show growth for the 28th consecutive month, increasing by 0.7%. This is the longest period of sustained growth since consistent records began in June 1996.
  • verage store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 2.9% in June 2015 compared with June 2014. This is the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls with all store types reporting decreases. The largest contribution came once again from petrol stations which fell by 10.0%, the 22nd consecutive month of year-on-year falling prices in this store type.
  • In June 2015, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 0.9% compared with June 2014, but decreased by 0.1% compared with May 2015. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry was £7.1 billion, unchanged from the previous month and the June 2014 figure.
  • The value of sales made online in June 2015 increased by 1.4% compared with May 2015 and accounted for 12.4% of all retail sales. Online sales increased by 11.4% compared with June 2014.
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Demography – businesses

Business Demography, 2012: ONS

  • The number of business births increased by 8,000 (3.1 %) between 2011 and 2012.
  • The number of business deaths increased by 25,000 (11.0%) between 2011 and 2012.
  • In 2012 the births of new businesses (270,000) was greater than business deaths (255,000).
  • The move towards economic recovery has seen birth rates being higher than death rates from 2011, but the gap has narrowed in 2012.
  • London had the highest business birth rate at 14.8% and the highest death rate at 11.7%. Apart from London the number of birth and deaths by region were similar.
  • In broad industry terms, accommodation and food services had the highest death rate, at 13.3%.

Profitability of companies

Profitability of UK Companies, Q2 2013: ONS

  • Private non-financial corporations’ profitability, as measured by their net rate of return, was estimated at 11.4% in quarter two 2013, about the same as the typical level experienced in the last year and a half but lower than the levels experienced in 2011.
  • Manufacturing companies’ net rate of return was estimated at 7.2% in quarter two 2013. Along with quarter one 2013 this is the lowest level seen since quarter one 2003.
  • Service companies’ net rate of return was estimated at 15.1% in quarter two 2013, the same as in quarter one 2013 but higher than the levels seen in the last two and a half years, with the exception of quarter three 2012.
  • UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) companies’ net rate of return was 37.4% in quarter two 2013, above the levels seen in the last year but below the levels seen in 2011 and quarter one 2012.
  • Non-UKCS companies’ net rate of return was 10.7% in quarter two 2013, well within the range of data seen in the last few years.

Employment Survey

Business Register Employment Survey, 2012: ONS

  • The level of employees in the UK showed an increase of 0.5% between September 2011 and September 2012.
  • The number of UK full-time employees increased by 30,000, while the number of part-time employees increased by 96,000.
  • London had the largest growth in the number of employees, with an increase of 143,000. Scotland had the largest fall in the number of employees, with a decrease of 34,000.
  • The business administration and support services sector was the industrial grouping with the largest growth in the number of employees, with an increase of 71,000. Public administration had the largest fall in the number of employees, with a decrease of 36,000.
  • The level of employment (employees + working proprietors) showed an increase of 0.2%.

Size of Firms in London & the UK

Size of Firms in London, 2001 to 2012: ONS

  • The number of workplaces in London rose from 366,290 in 2001 to 414,375 in 2012 – the number of workplaces in the UK rose from 2.4 million to 2.6 million over this period
  • The number of employees rose from 3.6 million to 4.2 million in London and from 23.9 million to 26.8 million in the UK
  • The proportion of SME workplaces in London has remained steady since 2001 at 88-89% of all workplaces
  • Workplaces belonging to large firms (with 250 or more employees) comprised 11-12% of workplaces in London between 2001 and 2012. Most of these were associated with enterprises with 2,500 or more employees.
  • Most SME workplaces belong to micro enterprises (those with fewer than 10 employees): in 2012, 87% of SME workplaces in London were associated with micro enterprises.
  • Over three-quarters of London’s workplaces belong to micro enterprises, but micro enterprises provided work for only 15% of its employees in 2012. Most  employees work for large enterprises, and almost four out of ten employees in London work for a firm employing 2,500 or more employees.

Small business and the local economy

Local Procurement research report: FSB

  • 58 per cent more of the money spent by local authorities with small firms is re-spent in the local economy compared to that spent with large businesses in the same area.
  • Small local firms generated £746 million more for the local economy compared to large local businesses
  • For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business (SME) 63p was re-spent in the local area compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.
  • Local authorities across the UK in the last year spent a total of £8.7 billion buying goods and services in their local area
  • If each authority had spent an additional five per cent of their budget locally and committed just three per cent more of that to small local firms, an additional £788 million could have been generated for local economies.