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  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
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