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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 Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

  • UK GDP grew by 0.3% in Quarter 3 2019
  • The services sector was the main driver to GDP growth in the three months to September 2019
  • Rolling three-month growth returned to rates seen before the notable strength in the three months to March 2019
  • GDP fell by 0.1% in September 2019
  • Quarterly growth in the services sector was 0.4%
  • Output in the production sector was flat in Quarter 3 2019
  • The construction sector grew by 0.6% in Quarter 3 2019
  • The expenditure measure of GDP increased by 0.3% in Quarter 3 2019
  • Nominal GDP increased by 0.5% in Quarter 3 2019

Release Date: 11th November 2019
Next Release Date: 10th December 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

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:  7th November 2019
Next release date: 19th December 2019

Source : Bank of England

 

 

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image
  • On a Total basis, sales increased by 0.6% in October, against an increase of 1.3% in October 2018. This is the best performance since April and above the 3-month average decline of 0.3% and the 12-month average growth of 0.1%, a new record low
  • UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a Like-for-like basis from October 2018, when they had increased 0.1% from the preceding year. This is above both the 3-month and 12-month averages of -0.8% and -0.4% respectively.
  • Over the three months to October, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 3.6% on a Total and 3.7% on a Like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 3.0%. However, the October decline was the shallowest since July.
  • Over the three months to October, Food sales increased 0.5% on a Like-for-like basis and 1.6% on a Total basis. This is in line with the 12-month Total average growth of 1.6%.
  • Over the three-months to October, Non-Food retail sales in the UK decreased by 1.9% on a like-for-like and 1.8% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average decrease of 1.1%. For the month of October, Non-Food was in growth year-on-year.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 5.1% in October, against a growth of 7.6% in October 2018. This was the strongest growth since February, higher than the 3-month and 12-month average growths of 2.5% and 3.6% respectively.
  • Non-Food Online penetration rate increased from 29.8% in October 2018 to 31.6% last month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail | KPMG

“Growth of 0.1% like-for-like in October would normally be little cause for celebration, but after several disappointing months, any tiny hints of growth are most welcome. Retailers have clearly been peddling hard to win over disengaged shoppers, especially given continued Brexit uncertainty.

“Aggressive promotion to move stock has seemingly benefited fashion sales, both on the high street and online. However, the jury’s still out on whether that progress will benefit the retailers’ bottom line.

“Online sales have returned closer to normality, with a 5.1% uptick in October, but growth online remains muted. Fierce focus will be placed on the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday events to kick things into better shape.

“As trading updates from key retailers makes painfully clear, the line between sales growth and profitability is wafer thin. Increased costs – in some cases including further stockpiling in anticipation of Brexit – will impact margins. It is clear that with an ongoing lack of consumer confidence there is little room to create consumer demand with slashed prices these days.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium

“Retailers embarked on an extraordinary period of discounting this October as they tried to entice shoppers into making purchases. Fashion shops were particularly active, helping non-food return to growth for the first time since July. Unfortunately, the longer term trend remains bleak with the 12-month average sales growth falling to a new low of just 0.1%. With Brexit still unresolved and a December election creating new uncertainties, retailers will be looking nervously at the months ahead.

“Nonetheless, the General Election offers politicians of all parties an opportunity to protect local retail jobs, local shopping locations and the local communities they support. MPs should build on the recent Treasury Select Committee Report and commit to reforming the broken business rates system. The first step would be to scrap the so-called downwards transition, which takes £1.3bn from retailers and redistributes most of it to other industries. This in turn holds back retailers’ investment in their physical and digital offerings, and investment in the three million dedicated people who work in the industry.”

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

“October food and grocery sales weakened versus September. However, with the impact of seasonal timings starting to play a role this is likely to be only a short-term effect. Early November should see strong trading again, with Halloween, Bonfire Night and the Rugby World Cup final all providing opportunities for incremental spend.

“Shoppers’ financial confidence has remained subdued surrounding the uncertainty of how Brexit will impact their food and grocery shopping. Despite this, they were looking forward to Halloween. Indeed, one in four said they intended to buy more this Halloween compared to previous years, with 43% buying or expecting to buy products on impulse.”

Release Date: 6th November 2019
Next Release Date: 6th December 2019

Source: BRC

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 44.2 October 2019
Previous month: 43.3 September 2019

Key findings:

  • Civil engineering declines at fastest pace since October 2009 
  • New orders and employment continue to decrease 
  • Business expectations for the year ahead remain subdued

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: 4th November 2019
Next publication date: 3rd December 2019

Source: Markit Economics

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

October Monthly Index*: 429.1 (September 2019: 428.4) 
Monthly Change*: +0.2% (September 2019: -0.2%)
Annual Change to October: 0.4% (September: 2019: 0.2%)
October Average Price: £215,368 (September 2019: £215,352) (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 0.4% 
  • Modest 0.2% rise month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors

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

“Annual house price growth remained below 1% for the 11th month in a row in October, at 0.4%. Average prices rose by around £800 over the last 12 months, a significant slowing compared with recent years – for example, in the same period to October 2016, prices increased by £9,100.

“Indicators of UK economic activity have been fairly volatile in recent quarters, but the underlying pace of growth appears to have slowed as a result of weaker global growth and an intensifying of Brexit uncertainty. To date, the slowdown has centred on business investment, while household spending has been more resilient."

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 November 2019
Next Release Date: 3rd December 2019

UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 49.6 - October 2019
Previous month: 48.3 - September 2019

Key findings:

  • UK Manufacturing PMI at 49.6 in October (6-month high) 
  • Downturns in output, new orders and employment
  • Stock-building activity gathers pace

Publication date: 1st November 2019
Next publication date: 2nd December 2019

Source: Markit Economics

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

GfK 150 x 112

Monthly Index: -14
Previous Month's Index: -12
Monthly Index Previous Year: -10
Period: October 2019

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: “In the face of continued Brexit uncertainty, the overall Index score fell to -14 this month. Importantly, the ongoing machinations in Westminster appear to be impacting how we view our personal financial situation for the coming year, with a fall of -3 in this measure in October. Is this an early sign of long-running weak economic confidence spreading to the way we view money matters?

"This deterioration in sentiment regarding our personal financial affairs is worrying as strong consumer spending has been the main driver of economic growth since the Referendum in 2016 against a backdrop of low inflation, low interest rates, low wage growth and high employment.

"Does reduced confidence in personal finances for the year ahead pose a risk to the wider economy? Nobody wants to see consumer spending reduce and let’s hope it doesn’t happen. But Brexit’s continuing uncertainty and the spectre of a general election is not helpful. People can only feel confident if they believe the external environment is stable, yet consumers are witnessing too many Brexit shifts and surprises, too many Brexit timelines and counter proposals to justify any longer-term confidence. The big black Brexit cloud is refusing to shift.” 

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – October 2019

The Overall Index Score in October 2019 is -14. All five measures decreased in October.

Personal Financial Situation 

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased by one point this month to +1; this is the same as October 2018.  

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by three points to +1 this month; this is three points lower than October 2018. 

General Economic Situation 

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has decreased one point this month to -33; this is five points lower than in October 2018.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have decreased two points to -37; this is nine points lower than October 2018.   

Major Purchase Index 

The major purchase index decreased two points in October to +1; this is three points lower than in October 2018.

Savings Index 

The savings index has decreased two points in October to +21; this is nine points higher than at this time last year.

Release Date: 30th October 2019
Next Release Date: 30th November 2019

Source: GfK

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC logo 150 x 112

Rolling Quarter Data

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr July to September 2019): 39,364
Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr July to September 2018): 43,403
Percentage Change: -9%

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr July to September 2019): 27,916
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr July 2018 to September 2018): 33,110

Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr July to September 2019): 11,448
Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr July to September 2018): 10,293

Commenting on the latest figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “It is great to see the strength of the affordable and rental sectors, whilst we would hope that the slowdown in private sector registrations is transient, and a function of short-term Brexit uncertainties.

“In any event, NHBC will continue to work with builders to raise standards and improve quality for homeowners.”

Most Recent Monthly Data

Total Registrations (August 2019): 12,295
Total Registrations (August 2018): 13,712
Change: -10%

Private Sector Registrations (August 2019): 8,420
Private Sector Registrations (August 2018): 10,460
Change: -20%

Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (August 2019): 3,875
Affordable and Rental Sector Registrations (August 2018): 3,252
Change: -10%

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.

Release Date: 24th October 2019 
Next Release: 30th November 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.

ONS UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Main points:

The ONS has reported on retail sales for the five-week period 25 August 2019 to 28 September 2019.  

  • In the three months to September 2019, moderate growth in the quantity bought continued at 0.6% when compared with the previous three months, with all sectors within non-food stores reporting declines except “other stores”.

  • The quantity bought was flat (0.0%) in September 2019 when compared with the previous month, following a fall of 0.3% in August 2019.

  • The year-on-year growth rate shows that the quantity bought in September 2019 increased by 3.1%, with growth across all sectors except department stores and household goods.

  • Online sales as a proportion of all retailing was 19.1% in September 2019, compared with 19.5% reported in August 2019.

Period: September 2019
Publication Date: 17th October 2019
Next Release Date: 14th November 2019

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for cour-week period 25 August 2019 to 28 September 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 September 2019:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.7% in September 2019, unchanged from August 2019.

  • The largest downward contributions to change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate, between August and September 2019, came from motor fuels, second-hand cars, and electricity, gas and other fuels.

  • These downward movements were offset by upward movements from furniture, household appliances, hotel overnight stays, and from recreation and culture items.

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month inflation rate was 1.7% in September 2019, unchanged from August 2019.

Release Date: 16th October 2019
Next Release: 13th November 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 September 2019: 

  • The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was 1.2% on the year to September 2019, down from 1.7% in August 2019.

  • The growth rate of prices for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process was negative 2.8% on the year to September 2019, down from negative 0.9% in August 2019.

  • Clothing, textiles and leather products provided the largest upward contribution to the annual rate of output inflation.

  • Crude oil provided the largest downward contribution to the annual rate of input inflation.

Release Date: 16th October 2019
Next Release: 13th November 2019

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (June to August 2019) 
Previous rolling quarter: 3.8% (May to July 2019)

Main points (May to July 2019) 

  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.9%, higher than a year earlier (75.6%) but 0.2 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.
  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%, this is lower than a year earlier (4.0%) but 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.0%, this is lower than a year earlier (21.2%) but 0.1 percentage points higher on the previous quarter.
  • Estimated annual growth in average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain was 3.8% for both total pay (including bonuses) and regular pay (excluding bonuses).
  • In real terms (after adjusting for inflation), annual growth in total pay was estimated to be 1.9% and annual growth in regular pay was estimated to be 2.0%.

 

 

 

 

Publication date: 15th October 2019
Next publication date: 12th November 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 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

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Neil Anderton - Sales Director, British Ceramic Tile
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