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

Consumer Spending: the lowest increase since records began

CONSUMER SPENDING LEFT LANGUISHING: British Retail Consortium (BRC)

Covering the four weeks 30 June – 27 July 2019

  • On a total basis, sales increased by 0.3% in July, against an increase of 1.6% in July 2018. This is the lowest figure recorded for the month of July since BRC records began in 1995 and comes after the worst June on records. This is above the 3-month average of -1.3% but below the 12-month average of 0.5%. This is the lowest 12-month average on records.
  • UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2018, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of -1.5% and -0.2% respectively.
  • Over the three months to July, in-store sales of Non-Food items declined 4.1% on a Total basis and 4.0% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 2.6%.
  • Over the three months to July, Food sales decreased 1.0% on a Like-for-like basis and 0.3% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 1.8% and the lowest 3-month average since December 2014, excluding Easter distortions.

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.

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.

Highest UK inflation since 2012

UK consumer price inflation: September 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.8% in September 2017, up from 2.7% in August 2017; it was last higher in March 2012.
  • The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for food and recreational goods, along with transport costs, which fell by less than they did a year ago.
  • These upward effects were partially offset by downward contributions from a range of goods and services, in particular clothing prices, which rose by less than they did a year ago.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 3.0% in September 2017, up from 2.9% in August 2017; it was last higher in March 2012.

Inflation up to 2.9%

UK consumer price inflation: August 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.9% in August 2017, up from 2.6% in July 2017.
  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in August 2017, up from 2.6% in July 2017.
  • Rising prices for clothing and motor fuels were the main contributors to the increase in the rate between July and August 2017.
  • Air fares also rose between July and August but the rise was smaller than between the same two months a year ago and so resulted in a partially offsetting, downward contribution.

Inflation rate falling

UK consumer price inflation: June 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, not a National Statistic) 12-month inflation rate was 2.6% in June 2017, down from 2.7% in May 2017.
  • This is the first fall in the CPIH inflation rate since April 2016, although it remains higher than in recent years.
  • Falling prices for motor fuels and certain recreational and cultural goods and services were the main contributors to the fall in the rate.
  • These downward contributions were partially offset by rising prices for furniture and furnishings.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.6% in June 2017, down from 2.9% in May 2017.