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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.

ONS UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Main points:

In the three months to June 2019, the quantity bought increased by 0.7%, with growth across all sectors except food stores and department stores; however, this was a slowdown from the stronger growth of 1.6% in the three months to May 2019.

The quantity bought in June 2019 increased by 1.0% when compared with May 2019; non-food stores provided the largest contribution to this growth.

The year-on-year growth rate shows that the quantity bought in June 2019 increased by 3.8%, with growth across all sectors except department stores, while May 2019 was at 2.2% for the year-on-year growth rate.

Online sales as a proportion of all retailing fell to 18.9% in June 2019, from the 19.3% reported in May 2019.

Period: June 2019
Publication Date: 18th July 2019
Next Release Date: 15th August 2019

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the five-week period 26 May 2019 to 29 June 2019.

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

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPIH image

Main points for June 2019:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.9% in June 2019, unchanged from May 2019.

  • The largest downward contributions to change in the 12-month rate between May and June 2019 came from motor fuels, accommodation services and electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices in each category falling between May and June 2019 compared with price rises between the same two months a year ago.

  • The largest offsetting upward contributions to change came from clothing and food.

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.0% in June 2019, unchanged from May 2019.




Release Date: 17th July 2019
Next Release: 14th August 2019

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 June 2019: 

  • The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was 1.6% on the year to June 2019, down from 1.9% in May 2019.

  • The growth rate of prices for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process fell 0.3% on the year to June 2019, down from 1.4% in May 2019.

  • Petroleum provided the largest downward contribution to the change in the annual rate of output inflation.

  • The annual rate of input inflation was negative for the first time since June 2016, driven by a large downward contribution from crude oil.




Release Date: 17th July 2019
Next Release: 14th August 2019

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 3.8 (March to May 2019)
Previous rolling quarter: 3.8% (February to April 2019)

Main points (March to May 2019) 

  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.0%, higher than a year earlier (75.6%); on the quarter, the rate was 0.1 percentage points lower, the first quarterly decrease since June to August 2018.

  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%; it has not been lower since October to December 1974.

  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.9%, lower than a year earlier (21.0%).

  • Estimated annual growth in average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased to 3.4% for total pay (including bonuses) and 3.6% for regular pay (excluding bonuses).

  • In real terms (after adjusting for inflation), total pay is estimated to have increased by 1.4% compared with a year earlier, and regular pay is estimated to have increased by 1.7%.





Publication date: 16th July 2019
Next publication date: 13th August 2019

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

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

  • UK GDP grew by 0.3% in the three months to May 2019
  • Services and production contributed positively to rolling three-month growth in May 2019, while construction had no contribution
  • Rolling three-month growth was 0.3% in the three months to May 2019
  • GDP grew by 0.3% in May 2019
  • Services sector rolling three-month growth was 0.3% for the second month in a row
  • The production sector partially recovered in May 2019 after falling significantly in April 2019
  • Growth in the construction sector was flat in the three months to May 2019

Release Date: 10th July 2019
Next Release Date: 9th August 2019

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

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image

June 2019

  • On a total basis, sales decreased by 1.3% in June, against an increase of 2.3% in June 2018. This decline drags the 3-month average into a decline of 0.1% and the 12-month average to an increase of 0.6%, the lowest since our records began in December 1995
  • In June, UK retail sales decreased by 1.6% on a like-for-like basis from June 2018, when they had increased 1.1% from the preceding year. This is lower than the 3-month and 12-month averages of -0.4% and -0.1% respectively. This represents the worst 12-month average since April 2012.
  • Over the three months to June, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 4.3% on a Total basis and 4.1% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 2.8%. 
  • Over the three months to June, Food sales increased 1.5% on a Like-for-like basis and 2.4% on a Total basis. This is above the 12-month Total average growth of 2.2%.
  • Over the three-months to June, Non-Food retail sales in the UK decreased by 2.0% on a like-for-like basis and 2.1% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average decrease of 0.8%. This is the worst quarterly decline since February 2009.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 4.0% in June, against a growth of 8.5% in June 2018. The 3-month and 12-month average growths were 3.3% and 5.0% respectively.
  • Non-Food Online penetration rate increased from 28.5% in June 2018 to 30.7% last month.






Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium

“With the biggest decline in retail sales on record, the risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase. While May 2018 offered almost unbroken sunshine, topped off by the run up to the World Cup and the marriage of Meghan and Harry, May 2019 delivered political and economic uncertainty. Food sales dropped for the first time since June 2016, with further declines in clothing, footwear and outdoor goods.

“With retail conditions the toughest they have been for a decade, politicians must act to support the successful reinvention of our high streets and local communities. Business rates remain a barrier, preventing many retailers from investing in their physical space. We have a broken tax system, which sees retailers paying vast sums of money regardless of whether they make a penny at the till, and yet the Government is failing to act. The legislation is falling behind the technological revolution.”

Release Date: 5th July 2019
Next Release Date: 5th August 2019

Source: BRC

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

June Monthly Index*: 428.2 (May 2019: 427.6) 
Monthly Change*: 0.1% (May 2019: -0.2%)
Annual Change to May: +0.5% (May: 2019: +0.6%)
May Average Price: £216,515 (May 2019: £214,946) (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 remained subdued at 0.5% in June
  • Modest 0.1% price rise during the month, after taking account of seasonal factors 
  • Annual price falls persist in London and the South East

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

“UK annual house price growth remained below 1% for the seventh consecutive month in June, at 0.5%.

“Survey data suggests that new buyer enquiries and consumer confidence have remained subdued in recent months. Nevertheless, indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable.

“Housing market trends are likely to continue to mirror developments in the broader economy. While healthy labour market conditions and low borrowing costs will provide underlying support, uncertainty is likely to continue to act as a drag on sentiment and activity, with price growth and transaction levels remaining close to current levels over the coming months"

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

Source: Nationwide House Price Index

Release Date:  3rd July 2019
Next Release Date: 2nd August 2019

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 43.1 June 2019
Previous month: 48.6 May 2019

Key findings:

  • Business activity declines for second month running in June 
  • Sharpest drop in house building for three years 
  • New orders shrink as political uncertainty hits client confidence

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: 2nd July 2019
Next publication date: 2nd August 2019

Source: Markit Economics

UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 48.0 - June 2019
Previous month: 49.4 - May 2019

Key findings:

  • UK Manufacturing PMI at 48.0 in June (76-month low) 
  • Output scaled back as new order inflows contract 
  • Business confidence dips amid ongoing uncertainty

Publication date: 1st July 2019
Next publication date: 1st August 2019

Source: Markit Economics

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

GfK 150 x 112

Monthly Index: -13
Previous Month's Index: -10
Monthly Index Previous Year: -9
Period: June 2019

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says:

“With all measures falling across the board this month, we revert to the Overall Index Score of -13 that we saw four times already this year. Perhaps scores clustered around -13 are to be the ‘New Normal’ for consumer confidence?

"While UK consumers continue to remain concerned about the wider economy, over which the woman or man in the street has no control, of greater worry are the falls in the measures for personal finance. These better reflect our hopes and fears for our everyday financial futures and this, coupled with a decline in the Major Purchase Index, could point to a turbulent time for the economy over the summer months.

"Another trend to watch, even though it’s not included in the Overall Index Score, is the Savings Index – up for the third month in a row at +19. Despite more of us agreeing that “now is a good time to save”, the official savings ratio (the percentage of disposable income being saved) stands at near historic lows as households must either dip into their savings or go into debt to fund the cost of day-to-day living.

"This is important because, without the security of a savings buffer, consumers may well be unable to absorb the impact of any downturn a no-deal Brexit might deliver.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – June 2019

The Overall Index Score in June 2019 is -13; all five measures decreased in June.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased by four points this month to -1; this is now one point lower than in June 2018. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by three points to +2 this month; this is four points lower than in June 2018.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has decreased this month to -32; this is four points lower than in June 2018. 

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have decreased four points to -33; this is eight points lower than June 2018. 

Major Purchase Index

The major purchase index decreased three points in June 2019 to -2; this is two points lower than in June 2018.

Savings Index

The savings index has increased three points in June to +19; this is 11 points higher than at this time last year.

Release Date: 28th June 2019
Next Release Date: 31st July 2019

Source: GfK

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC logo 150 x 112

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr March to May 2019): 43,985
Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr March 2018 to May 2018): 39,059
Percentage Change: 

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr March to May 2019): 31,322
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr March to May 2018): 28,612
Percentage Change: +9%

Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr March to May 2019): 12,663
Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr March to May 2018): 10,447
Percentage Change: +21%

Commenting on the new figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said:

 “It is encouraging to see such strong figures in May.

“This has been helped by the increase in the private rental sector and the upturn in London, fueled by inward investors as well as new developments from established players.

“Of course, we will be working with developers to maintaining and improving the quality of these new homes. Construction quality is central to everything NHBC does – as highlighted by the 450 UK site managers we announced last week as Quality Award winners in the NHBC Pride in the Job Awards 2019.”

Release Date: 26th June 2019 
Next Release: 28th July 2019

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.

Bank of England: Bank Rate

Bank of England logo 150 x 112.jpg

Current bank rate: 0.75%
Previous bank rate: 0.75%

Release date:  20th June 2019
Next release date: 1st August 2019

Source : Bank of England



UK Population Figures

UK Census

UK population: 66,040,229 (30th June 2017 estimate)
UK population: 65,648,100 (mid 2016 estimates)
Percentage change: +0.6%

2016 Data:

Male: 32.4 million (49.3%)
Female: 33.0 million (50.7%)

Estimated population of England: 55,268,100 (84.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Scotland: 5,404,700 (8.2% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Wales: 3,113,200 (4.7% of the UK’s population)
Estimated population of Northern Ireland: 1,862,100 (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: 28th June 2018

Next Update: June 2019

Source: ONS


Insight provides a host of information I need on many of our company’s largest customers. I use this information regularly with my team, both at a local level as well as with our other international operations. It’s extremely useful when sharing market intelligence information with our corporate office.

Paul Boyce - European CEO, QEP Ltd.

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