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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.

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:  2nd May 2019
Next release date: 20th June 2019

Source : Bank of England

 

 

NHBC - New Build Statistics/New Registrations

NHBC logo 150 x 112

Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr January 2019 to March 2019): 37,672
Total Registrations (Rolling Qtr January 2018 to March 2018): 36,508
Percentage Change: +3%.

Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr January 2019 to March 2019): 26,841
Private Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr January 2018 to March 2018): 28,554
Percentage Change: -6%

Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr January 2019 to March 2019): 10,831
Public and Affordable Sector Registrations (Rolling Qtr January 2018 to March 2018): 7,954
Percentage Change: +36%

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

“We are pleased to report good numbers for the start of the year, although we do need to bear in mind the situation 12 months ago when freezing conditions caused major hold-ups in registrations as well as build-rates across the bulk of the UK.

“Although Brexit uncertainties are impacting consumer confidence and causing some dampening of new-build and second-hand sale markets, housing remains an attractive asset class for inward investors, which does cause us to be more optimistic about Build to rent.

“At NHBC, we will continue to work with developers, builders and housing associations to help to improve the quality of new homes for the people who will live in them.”

Release Date: 2nd May 2019 
Next Release: 4th June 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.

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 50.5 April 2019
Previous month: 49.7 March 2019

Key findings:

  • Construction output rises for the first time since January 
  • Residential work expands at fastest pace for four months 
  • Civil engineering and commercial activity fall again

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 May 2019
Next publication date: 4th June 2019

Source: Markit Economics

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

April Monthly Index*: 428.8 (March 2019: 427.2) 
Monthly Change*: +0.4% (March 2019: +0.2%)
Annual Change: +0.9% (March: 2019: +0.7%)
April Average Price: £241,920 (March 2019: £213,102) (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 0.9% in April
  • Prices rose 0.4% month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors

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

“UK house price growth remained subdued in April, with prices just 0.9% higher than the same month last year. “Indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable in recent months, even though survey data suggests that sentiment has softened.

“Measures of consumer confidence weakened around the turn of the year and surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have remained subdued.

“While the number of properties coming onto the market has also slowed, this doesn’t appear to have been enough to prevent a modest shift in the balance of supply and demand in favour of buyers in recent months. April marks the fifth month in a row in which annual house price growth has been below 1%."

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:  1st May 2019
Next Release Date: 1st June 2019

UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 53.1 - April 2019
Previous month: 55.1 - March 2019

Key findings:

  • UK Manufacturing PMI at 53.1 in April (2-month low) 
  • New export business declines 
  • Stock-building continues at solid, yet slower, pace

Publication date: 1st May 2019
Next publication date: 3rd June 2019

Source: Markit Economics

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

GfK 150 x 112

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

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says:

“We have reported a -13 headline for the past three months and it appears it’s a case of ‘Keep Calm’ when it comes to how confident consumers are feeling right now.  Despite political carry-on in the Westminster bubble with the clock ticking on Britain’s eventual departure from the EU, consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory. 

"This month we see a dip in the measures for our personal financial situation - both looking back a year and ahead to the coming year - but this is balanced by a small increase in our perspective on the state of the UK economy.  The further two-point drop in our measure on ‘major purchases’ suggests more challenges in the near future at least for the retail sector. 

"The biggest change is a sudden drop in the motivation to save money – this is down by eight points – and represents the largest monthly drop in our savings measure since after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.”  

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – April 2019

The Overall Index Score in April 2019 is -13; Two measures increased and three saw a decrease in April.

Personal Financial Situation 

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased this month to -1; this is the same as April 2018.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by two points to 0 this month; this is four points lower than April 2018. 

General Economic Situation 

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased by three points this month; this is one point lower than April 2018.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased two points to -34; this is ten points lower than April 2018.   

Major Purchase Index 

The major purchase index decreased two points in April 2019 to -1; this is four points lower than April 2018.    

Savings Index 

The savings index has decreased eight points in April to +12; this is two points higher than at this time last year.

Release Date: 30th April 2019
Next Release Date: 31st May 2019

Source: GfK

ONS UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

Main points:

- In the three months to March 2019 (Quarter 1), the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 1.6% when compared with Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2018, following sustained growth throughout the first three months of the year.

- All store types except department stores and household goods stores increased in the quantity bought in the three months to March 2019, when compared with the previous three months.

- The quantity bought in March 2019 increased by 1.1% on the month, with food stores and non-store retailing providing the largest contributions to this growth.

- Year-on-year growth in the quantity bought increased by 6.7% in March 2019, the highest since October 2016, with a range of stores noting that the milder weather this year helped boost sales in comparison with the “Beast from the East” impacting sales in March 2018.

- Department stores were the only store type to decrease in the quantity bought when compared with March 2018, with a fall of 0.3% in March 2019.

- Online sales as a proportion of all retailing increased to 18.6% in March 2019, from the 18.1% reported in February 2019.

Period: March 2019

Released: 18th April 2019
Next Release Date: 23rd May 2019

This bulletin presents estimates of the quantity bought (volume) and amount spent (value) in the retail industry for the five-week period 24 February 2019 to 30 March 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:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.8% in March 2019, unchanged from February 2019.

  • Rising prices for motor fuels and clothing produced the largest upward contributions to change in the rate between February and March 2019.

  • The largest, offsetting, downward contributions came from across a range of recreational and cultural goods, food and motor vehicles.

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.9% in March 2019, unchanged from February 2019.

 

 

Release Date: 17th April 2019
Next Release: 22nd May 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:  

 

  • The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was 2.4% on the year to March 2019, which is unchanged from February 2019.

  • The growth rate of prices for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process was 3.7% on the year to March 2019, down from 4.0% in February 2019.

  • All product groups provided upward contributions to output annual inflation.

  • Fuel provided the largest upward contribution to the annual rate of input inflation, despite falling on the month.

 

 

Release Date: 17th April 2019
Next Release: 22nd May 2019

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (December to February 2019)
Previous rolling quarter: 3.9% (October to December 2018) 

Main points (December to February 2019)

  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.4%) and the joint-highest figure on record.

  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%; it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975.

  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the joint-lowest figure on record.

  • Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain were estimated to have increased by 3.4%, before adjusting for inflation, and by 1.5%, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a year earlier.

  • Including bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain were estimated to have increased by 3.5%, before adjusting for inflation, and by 1.6%, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a year earlier.

Publication date: 16th April 2019
Next publication date: 14th May 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 gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.3% in the three months to February 2019
  • The services and production sectors contributed positively to GDP growth, while construction had a negative contribution
  • Rolling three-month growth was 0.3% in the three months to February 2019
  • GDP grew by 0.2% in February 2019

 

Release Date: 10th April 2019
Next Release Date: 10th May 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

March 2019

  • In March, UK retail sales decreased by 1.1% on a Like-for-like basis from March 2018, when they had increased 1.4% from the preceding year. The 2-year average Like-for-like growth was 0.1% per annum, a slowdown from February’s 0.3%.

  • Over the three months to March, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 1.5% on a Total basis and 1.7% on a Like-for-like basis. This is above the 12-month Total average decline of 2.1%. Online, the 3-month and 12-month average growths were 4.5% and 6.4% respectively.

  • Over the three months to March, Food sales increased 0.2% on a Like-for-like basis and 1.3% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 2.0%.

  • Over the three-months to March, Non-Food retail sales in the UK were flat on a like-for-like basis and increased 0.1% on a Total basis. This is broadly in-line with the 12-month Total average of 0.0%.

  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 3.0% in March, against a growth of 7.9% in March 2018. The 2-year average growth was 5.4% per annum, a slowdown from February’s 5.9%. 

  • Online penetration rate increased from 28.5% in March 2018 to 29.9% last month

Helen Dickenson OBE, Chief Executive, BRC:
“Retail sales slowed in March, even when the Easter distortions were accounted for, as greater uncertainty caused people to hold off from splashing out. While jewellery, beauty products and clothing purchases were all up to indulge on Mother’s Day, shoppers were generally cautious not to overspend, particularly on larger items. 

“Brexit continues to feed the uncertainty among consumers. For the sake of everyone, MPs must rally behind a plan of action that avoids no deal – and quickly – or it will be ordinary families who suffer as a result of higher prices and less choice on the shelves.”

Sue Richardson, Retail Director UK | KPMG
“March marked a truly disappointing end to the first quarter of 2019 for retailers. Not only did total sales fall 0.5 per cent compared to the same month last year, but no further clarity around Brexit came to light, and shoppers continue to waiver.

“Not all categories or channels suffered the same fate though, with clothing generally bagging a welcome reprieve thanks to more favourable weather – especially when compared to the Beast from the East this time last year. 

“However other categories, mainly big-ticket items including furniture, remained overlooked. Online sales may have performed better than the high street, but the high proportion of sales occurring online actually nods towards the underlying issue of profit pressure. 

“Retailers will be hoping for an end to this sustained uncertainty – it’s clearly not good for business – but times have already well and truly changed, and agility remains the best form of defence.”

Release Date: 9th April 2019
Next Release Date: 6th May 2019

Source: BRC

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

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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.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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