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Economic Data

Welcome to the ‘Economic Data’ section of Insight DIY, which includes a summary of all of the key UK economic indicators that you may need to know within your business. Each of these key indicators are updated as and when they are released by their various sources and provide a really valuable addition to any monthly report or business overview.

UK Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPIH image

Main points for July 2020:


  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.1% in July 2020, up from 0.8% in June 2020.

  • The largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in July 2020 came from recreation and culture (0.33 percentage points).

  • Clothing, rising prices at the petrol pump, and furniture and household goods made large upward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between June and July 2020.
  • Falling food prices resulted in a partially offsetting small downward contribution to the change.

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.0% in July 2020, up from 0.6% in June.

Release Date: 19th August 2020
Next Release: 16th September 2020

Price indices, percentage changes and weights for the different measures of consumer price inflation. 

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Producer Price Inflation (PPI)

Producer Price Index

Main points for July 2020: 


  • The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was negative 0.9% on the year to July 2020, unchanged from June 2020.
  • The price for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process displayed negative growth of 5.7% on the year to July 2020, up from negative growth of 6.7% in June 2020.
  • Petroleum products was the largest contributor to the annual rate of output inflation.  - Crude oil provided the largest upward contribution to the change in the annual rate of input inflation.
    - Prices for both petroleum products and crude oil have increased on the month as lockdown and travel restrictions have eased, and global demand has picked up.
    - November 2020 will see the first publication of the producer price inflation figures on a gross basis; we encourage the use of gross series indices where available, as the net versions will no longer be produced.

Release Date: 19th August 2020
Next Release: 16th September 2020

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

  • UK GDP fell by 20.4% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

  • GDP fell significantly in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 with widespread contractions across all main sectors of the economy

  • GDP grew by 8.7% in June 2020

  • The services sector fell by 19.9% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

  • Production fell by 16.9% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

  • Output in the construction sector fell by 35.0% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 

Release Date: 12th August 2020
Next Release Date: 11th September 2020

Preliminary, second and final estimates of GDP released over a quarter as more data becomes available. The final estimate is published in the Quarterly National Accounts. GDP is the main measure of UK economic growth based on the value of goods and services produced during a given period.

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (April to June 2020)

Main points (April to June 2020)  


  • the estimated UK unemployment rate for all people was 3.9%; this is largely unchanged on both the year and the quarter

  • the estimated UK unemployment rate for men was 4.1%; this is largely unchanged on the year earlier but 0.1 percentage points down on the quarter

  • the estimated UK unemployment rate for women was 3.7%; this is 0.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.1 percentage points higher on the quarter
  • Despite the lack of overall increase in the number of unemployed people, the estimated number of people unemployed aged 16 to 24 years increased by 41,000 on the year, to 543,000. Other age groups saw falls or very little change over the year.

  • Looking at the duration of unemployment, it is those unemployed for up to six months who are seeing the largest increases, up 150,000 over the year to 943,000. The decrease in longer-term unemployment means that overall, the unemployment remains unchanged.

Publication date: 11th August 2020
Next publication date: 15th September 2020

The level and rate of UK unemployment measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) using a definition of unemployment specified by the International Labour Organisation. Unemployed people as those without a job who have been actively seeking work in the past 4 weeks and are available to start work in the next 2 weeks. It also includes those who are out of work but have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next 2 weeks.

Source: Office for National Statistics

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image

Covering the four weeks 5 July - 1 August

  • On a Total basis, sales increased by 3.2% in July, against an increase of 0.5% in July 2019*, It is above the 3-month average growth of 0.4% and the 12m average decline of 1.9%. This is the second consecutive month of growth since the start of the pandemic.

  • In July, UK retail sales increased 4.3% on a Like-for-like basis from July 2019, when they had increased 0.3% from the preceding year*. In July, Like-for-like has been measured EXCLUDING temporarily closed stores but including Online sales.
  • Over the three months to July, In-Store sales of Non-Food items declined 29.3% on a Total and 11.3% on a Like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 17.7%. For July, the like-for-like excluding temporarily closed stores remained in decline.

  • Over the three months to July, Food sales increased 8.2% on a Like-for-like basis and 6.1% on a Total basis. This is This is the highest since June 2009 and higher than the 12-month Total average growth of 3.2%. For the month of July, Food was in growth year-on-year.


  • Over the three-months to July, Non-Food retail sales increased by 7.9% on a like-for-like basis and declined 4.3% on a Total basis. This is above the 12-month Total average decline of 6.1%. For the month of July, Non-Food was in growth year-on-year.

  • Online Non-Food sales increased by 41.0% in July, against a growth of 3.7% in July 2019*. This is below the 3-mth average of 49.7% but above the 12-mth average of 19.9%.

  • Non-Food Online penetration rate increased from 29.7% in July 2019 to 42.0% this July.

*Note 2020 is a 53-week year in the ONS calendar: as a result of the extra week in January 2020, the comparable 2019 performances cited here may differ from those published last year, due to the one-week shift in the comparison.


Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail | KPMG

“The release of pent up demand continued in July, with total retail sales growing at 3.2% compared to the same month in 2019. Fortunes were heavily polarised though, and fashion sales continued to suffer despite the summer weather – even online.

“While social distancing restrictions have eased and our daily lives have started to return to a degree of normality, shoppers are still focussed on life at home for the most part. Online sales continue to remain prominent – accounting for over 40 per cent of sales – while food and home focussed categories like furniture, homewares and kitchen accessories remained among the strongest performers. With many of us continuing to work from home, sales of computing equipment soared too.

“September will be the real test for retailers this quarter, traditionally being a month of high volumes driven by the return to school after the holiday season. That said, with the furlough scheme unwinding and wider economic uncertainty set for the autumn, consumer anxiety will likely rise along with it. This will place more scrutiny on disposable income and make life even tougher for retailers.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium

“July saw the second month of growth as lockdown measures eased and demand gradually began to return in some places. Many shops continued to struggle as footfall was down, with many people still reluctant to go out, and fewer impulse purchases. The strongest performance came from food, furniture and homeware, as consumers increasingly invest in their time at home, however, many shops, particularly in fashion, jewellery and beauty, are still struggling to survive. Online sales remained buoyant, slowing only slightly despite more shops reopening.”

“While the rise in retail sales is a step in the right direction, the industry is still trying to catch up lost ground, with most shops having suffered months of closures. The fragile economic situation continues to bear down on consumer confidence, with some retailers hanging by only a thread in the face of rising costs and lower sales. Rents are also continuing to accumulate and the next Quarter Rent Day could see many otherwise viable businesses fall into insolvency, costing stores, jobs and economic growth. The Government should adopt the proposal from landlords and tenants for a Property Bounceback Grant, which would deliver £7 billion in tax revenue to the Exchequer and save 375,000 jobs.” 

Food & Drink sector performance | Susan Barratt, CEO | IGD

“Following two months of exceptionally strong growth, food and grocery sales slowed notably in July, signalling a move towards more normal or pre-lockdown shopper behaviour. Alcohol sales are still contributing significantly to growth for supermarkets, but less so than in May and June.

“IGD’s Shopper Confidence Index remained low but stable in July albeit with regional variations; local lockdowns in the north of England have led to a significant decrease in confidence in this region, while morale has been boosted in Scotland. However, the economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt on shopper confidence going forward and retailers should prepare for increased focus on savvy shopping for the remainder of the year at least.”

Release Date: 10th August 2020
Next Release Date: 12th September 2020

Source: BRC

Bank of England: Bank Rate

Bank of England logo 150 x 112.jpg

Current bank rate: 0.1%
Previous bank rate: 0.1%

Release date: 6th August 2020
Next release date: 17th September 2020

Source : Bank of England

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 58.1 July 2020
Previous month: 55.3 June 2020

Survey-record decline in construction work amid site closures due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings:

  • Growth led by sharp increase in house building 
  • Modest improvement in new order books during July 
  • Employment falls at a faster pace than in June

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Construction Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) is a diffusion index incorporating survey results provided by construction firms throughout the country. A reading above fifty suggests the construction sector is expanding, while a reading below fifty suggests the construction sector is in contraction. Policymakers and traders watch these surveys closely as purchasing managers usually have early access to data about their company’s performance, rather than waiting for the hard data to emerge.

Publication date: 6th August 2020
Next publication date: 2nd September 2020

Source: Markit Economics

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

June Monthly Index*: 435.9 (June 2020: 428.3) 
Monthly Change*: 1.7% (June 2020: -1.6%)
Annual Change to July: 1.5% (to June: -0.1%)
July 2020 Average Price: £220,936 (June 2020: £216,403) (not seasonally adjusted) 

* Seasonally adjusted figure (note that monthly % changes are revised when seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated)

Key Findings

  • Annual house price growth recovers to 1.5% in July
  • Prices up 1.7% month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors, reversing last month’s fall 
  • Stamp duty holiday likely to provide further support in the near term

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said:

“UK house prices rose by 1.7% in July, after taking account of seasonal effects, offsetting the 1.6% fall in June. As a result, annual house price growth recovered to 1.5%, from -0.1% last month. On a seasonally adjusted basis, house prices in July were 1.6% lower than in April.

“The bounce back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

“The rebound in activity reflects a number of factors. Pent up demand is coming through, where decisions taken to move before lockdown are progressing.

“Behavioural shifts may be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown. Our own research, conducted in May (link), indicated that around 15% of people surveyed were considering moving as a result of life in lockdown.

“Moreover, social distancing does not appear to be having as much of a chilling effect as we might have feared, at least at this stage.

“These trends look set to continue in the near term, further boosted by the recently announced stamp duty holiday, which will serve to bring some activity forward.

“However, there is a risk this proves to be something of a false dawn. Most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead as a result of the aftereffects of the pandemic and as government support schemes wind down. If this comes to pass, it would likely dampen housing activity once again in the quarters ahead."

Source: Nationwide House Price Index

Release Date: 3rd August 2020
Next Release Date: 2nd September 2020

Nationwide is the world's largest building society and one of the UK's largest mortgage providers. It has the longest unbroken run of house price data, stretching back to 1952 on a quarterly basis and 1991 on a monthly basis.  

UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 53.3 - July 2020
Previous month: 50.1 - June 2020

Key findings:

  • UK Manufacturing PMI at 53.3 in July (Flash: 53.6) 
  • Domestic new orders rise, but new export business falls 
  • Business sentiment rises to 28-month high

Publication date: 3rd August 2020
Next publication date: 1st September 2020

Source: Markit Economics

ONS UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

The ONS has reported on retail sales for the four-week period 31 May 2020 to 4 July 2020. 

Main points:

  • In June 2020, the volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% when compared with May 2020 as non-food and fuel stores continue their recovery from the sharp falls experienced since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • The two monthly increases in the volume of retail sales in May and June 2020 have brought total sales to a similar level as before the coronavirus pandemic; however, there is a mixed picture in different store types.

  • In June, while non-food stores and fuel sales show strong monthly growths in the volume of sales at 45.5% and 21.5% respectively, levels have still not recovered from the sharp falls experienced in March and April.

  • Food stores and non-store retailing both reached new high levels since the start of the pandemic, with volume food sales 5.3% higher, and non-store retailing 53.6% higher, than February.

  • In the three months to June, the volume of sales decreased by 9.5% when compared with the previous three months, with declines across all store types except food stores and non-store retailing.

  • The proportion of online spending reduced to 31.8% in June when compared with the record 33.3% reported in May, but is a considerable increase from the 20.0% reported in February.






  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a public statement on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the production of statistics.

Period: June 2020

Publication Date: 24th July 2020
Next Release Date: 21st August 2020

Unless otherwise stated, the estimates in this release are seasonally adjusted.

Source: Office for National Statistics

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

GfK 150 x 112

Monthly Index: -27
Previous Month's Index: -27 (Flash), -30 June
Monthly Index Previous Year: -11 (July 2019)
Period: July 2020

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, comments:

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, says: “There’s been little to boost the public’s mood as the cost of the pandemic to the UK’s economy is becoming apparent. Amidst significant job losses and the end of the furlough scheme, it is perhaps surprising Consumer Confidence has held steady at -27 this month.

"Many people have been savvy and saved money during lockdown, as the most recent GDP figures show. That could explain the one bright spark on the horizon -- the three-point uptick in consumer expectations for the financial position of their households in the next 12 months. The way we perceive our ’future wallets’ is key as it’s the one area over which we have day-to-day control and is a good indicator of our personal financial outlook for the year to come.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – July 2020

The Overall Index Score has remained at -27 for July. Three measures were up and two were down in comparison to the 4th COVID-19 flash of July 3rd.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months is up one point to -4; this is five points lower than July 2019. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is up three points to zero this month; this is seven points lower than July 2019.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has decreased by one point to -61; this is 29 points lower than in July 2019.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months are up by one point at -41 points; this is nine points lower than July 2019.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has decreased one point to -26 in July; this is 30 points lower than it was in July 2019.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has improved by eight points in July to +21; this is four points lower than at this time last year.

Release Date: 24th July 2020
Next Release Date: 28th August 2020

Source: GfK

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC logo 150 x 112

Annual Data For 2019

  • During 2019, the number of NHBC new home registrations (accounting for approximately 80% of all new UK homes) was 161,022 compared to 158,878 in 2018.
  • 112,086 homes were registered in the private sector, compared to 115,584 in the previous year (-3%).
  • 48,936 homes were registered in the affordable sector, compared to 43,294 in the previous year (13%).

November 2019 Monthly Data 

Total Registrations November 2019: 16,175
Total Registrations November 2018: 15,158
Percentage change: +7%

Private Sector November 2019: 10,662
Private Sector November 2018: 11,036

Affordable and Rental Sector November 2019: 5,513
Affordable and Rental Sector November 2018: 4,122

Rolling Quarter Data

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2019): 44,361
Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2018): 43,655
Percentage Change: +2%

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2019): 30,416
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September 2018 to November 2018): 33,110
Percentage Change: -7%

Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2019): 13,945
Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr September to November 2018): 10,918
Percentage Change: +28%

Commenting on the latest figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “As we near the end of the year, it is good to report resilience in new home numbers, which should give some confidence going into the New Year.

“As ever, construction quality is central to everything NHBC does. We will keep working with the sector to help improve new home quality for the benefit of consumers.”

Release Date: 28th December 2019
Next Release: 31st January 2021

Source: NHBC

NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK and its registration statistics are a lead indicator for the new homes market.

UK Population Figures

UK Census

UK population: 66,436,000 (mid 2018)
UK population: 66,040,229 (mid 2017)
Percentage change: +0.6%

2018 Data:

Male: 32.8 million (49.4%)
Female: 33.6 million (50.6%)

Estimated population of England: 55,977,000 (84.3% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Scotland: 5,438,000 (8.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Wales: 3,139,000 (4.7% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Northern Ireland: 1,882,000 (2.8% of the UK’s population)

Mid-year population estimates relate to the usually resident population. They account for long-term international migrants (people who change their country of usual residence for a period of 12 months or more) but do not account for short-term migrants (people who come to or leave the country for a period of less than 12 months). This approach is consistent with the standard UN definition for population estimates which is based upon the concept of usual residence and includes people who reside, or intend to reside, in the country for at least twelve months, whatever their nationality.

Data last updated: June 2019
Next update: June 2020

Source: ONS


Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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