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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.

Nationwide House Price Index

House Prices

June Monthly Index*: 428.3 (May 2020: 434.6) 
Monthly Change*: -1.4% (May 2020: -1.7%)
Annual Change to June: -0.1% (to May: +1.8%)
June 2020 Average Price: £216,403 (May 2020: £222,915) (not seasonally adjusted) 

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

Key Findings

  • Annual price growth grinds to a halt in June with prices down 0.1% 
  • Annual growth negative for first time since 2012 
  • Prices fell 1.4% month-on-month, after taking account of seasonal factors 
  • Regional house price growth rates within narrow range of 0%-5% in Q2

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

“UK house prices fell by 1.4% in the month of June, after taking account of seasonal effects, following a 1.7% fall in May. On a seasonally adjusted basis, house prices in June were 3.2% lower than in April.

“Annual house price growth slowed to -0.1%, from 1.8% in May. This is the first time that annual house price growth has been in negative territory since December 2012.

“It is unsurprising that annual house price growth has stalled, given the magnitude of the shock to the economy as a result of the pandemic. Economic output fell by an unprecedented 25% over the course of March and April – almost four times more than during the entire financial crisis.

“Housing market activity also slowed sharply as a result of lockdown measures implemented to control the spread of the virus. While latest data from HMRC showed a slight pickup in residential property transactions from April’s low, in May they were still 50% lower than the same month in 2019.

“Mortgage activity saw an even more dramatic slowdown – there were only 9,300 approvals for house purchase in May, down from 73,700 in February and 86% lower than in May 2019. However, our ability to generate the house price index has not been impacted to date, as sample sizes have remained sufficiently large (and representative) to generate robust results.

“With lockdown measures due to be eased in the weeks ahead, housing market activity is likely to edge higher in the near term, albeit remaining below pre-pandemic levels. Nevertheless, the medium-term outlook for the housing market remains highly uncertain. Much will depend on the performance of the wider economy, which will in turn be determined by how the pandemic and restrictions on activity evolve (including any behavioural shifts).

“The raft of policies adopted to support the economy, including to protect businesses and jobs, to support peoples’ incomes and keep borrowing costs down, should set the stage for a rebound once the shock passes, and help limit long-term damage to the economy.
“These same measures should also help ensure the impact on the housing market will ultimately be less than would normally be associated with an economic shock of this magnitude."

Source: Nationwide House Price Index

Comment from Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at  Good Move, on today’s Nationwide House Price Index

“The pandemic has continued to take its toll on the UK housing market with annual house price growth decreasing by 0.1% in June, 1.4% down month on month. These numbers spark the first negative annual growth since December 2012.

“These numbers are due to the reduction in market activity over the recent months alongside strict social distancing measures.

“As lockdown measures begin to ease, we expect house prices to bounce back fairly soon. However, this is thoroughly dependent on how the wider economy performs and the raft of policies put in place by the government to support the economy and protect businesses, jobs and incomes. These factors should help limit long-term damage to the UK housing market.”


Release Date: 1st July 2020
Next Release Date: 2nd August 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: 50.1 - June 2020
Previous month: 40.7 - May 2020

Key findings:

  • UK Manufacturing PMI at 50.1 in June (Flash: 50.1) 
  • Output edges higher and business optimism rises 
  • Employment falls for fifth successive month

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

Source: Markit Economics

GfK Consumer Confidence Index

GfK 150 x 112

Monthly Index: -30
Previous Month's Index: -36 (Flash), -34 May
Monthly Index Previous Year: -13 (June 2019)
Period: June 2020

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

“We have a six-point uptick in the Overall Index Score with all measures up and particularly strong increases in future perceptions of personal finances and the economy. But we still have a story that’s about negative numbers so it’s too early to say that consumers are moving on from the COVID-19 crisis.

"The initial fall we announced on April 6th (-9 down to -34) was the biggest ever since this survey’s origins in 1974. You have to go way back to the 1979 oil crisis to find anything that comes close.This latest improvement may be misleading.

"Consumers appear to be confused and some are not sure what to think. Yes, we have seen queues as some shoppers return to battered high streets. But with economists warning that the post-lockdown upturn might not restore GDP to pre-COVID-19 levels, and with the labour market set for more job losses, we have to question whether we are seeing early signs of economic recovery or that infamous ‘dead cat bounce’. Most bets at present will be on the dead cat.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – June 2020

The Overall Index Score increased by six points over the past two weeks. All five measures increased.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months is up one point to -9; this is eight points lower than June 2019. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is up six points to -4 this month; this is six points lower than June 2019.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has improved by one point to -59; this is 27 points lower than in June 2019.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months are up by nine points at -48 points; this is 15 points lower than June 2019.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased nine points to -32 in June; this is 30 points lower than it was in June 2019.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has improved by four points in June to +16; this is three points lower than at this time last year.

Release Date: 30th June 2020
Next Release Date: 31st July 2020

Source: GfK

ONS UK Retail Sales

Retail Sales

The ONS has reported on retail sales for the four-week period 3 May 2020 to 30 May 2020.

Main points:

  • Retail sales volumes partly rebounded in May 2020 with an increase of 12.0% when compared with the record falls experienced in the previous month, but sales were still down by 13.1% on February before the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Non-food stores provided the largest positive contribution to the monthly growth in May 2020, aided by a strong increase of 42.0% in household goods stores, with the opening of hardware, paints and glass stores reflected in this sector.

  • The proportion spent online soared to the highest proportion on record in May 2020 at 33.4%, which compares with the 30.8% reported in April 2020.

  • While there was a strong increase in the volume of fuel sales in May 2020, levels still remain 42.5% lower than February 2020, before government travel restrictions were in place.

  • In the three months to May 2020, the volume of retail sales decreased by a record 12.8%, with declines across all stores except food and non-store retailing.

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

Period: May 2020

Publication Date: 19th June 2020
Next Release Date: 24th July 2020

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

Source: Office for National Statistics

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: 18th June 2020
Next release date: 6th August 2020

Source : Bank of England

UK Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPIH image

Main points for June 2020:

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 0.7% in May 2020, down from 0.9% in April 2020.

  • The largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in May 2020 came from recreation and culture (0.23 percentage points).

  • Falling prices for motor fuels and a variety of recreational and cultural goods resulted in the largest downward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between April and May 2020.

  • Rising prices for food and non-alcoholic drinks resulted in a partially offsetting upward contribution to change.

  • As a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we identified 74 CPIH items (or 14.2% of the CPIH basket by weight) that were unavailable to UK consumers in May, as detailed in table 58 of the Consumer price inflation dataset; this is down from 90 unavailable items in April; compared with the February 2020 index (the most recent “normal” collection), we have collected a weighted total of 81.6% (excluding unavailable items) of the number of price quotes for the May 2020 index, although the coverage varies across the range of items.





Release Date: 17th June 2020
Next Release: 15th July 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 May 2020:


  • The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was negative 1.4% on the year to May 2020, down from a negative 0.7% in April 2020.The price for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process displayed negative growth of 10.0% on the year to May 2020, up from negative growth of 10.2% in April 2020.

  • Petroleum products made the largest downward contribution to the change in the annual rate of output inflation.
  • Prices for petroleum products have seen a record fall on the year to May 2020, driven by large falls in crude oil prices in March and April 2020, which have continued to feed through the supply chain, as well as reduced demand for petroleum products, particularly for transport, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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

Release Date: 17th June 2020
Next Release: 15th July 2020

Source: Office for National Statistics

UK Labour Market

Unemployment office

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (January 2020 to March 2020)
Previous rolling quarter: 4.0% (December 2019 to February 2020)

Main points (February to April 2020) 

  • the estimated UK unemployment rate for all people was 3.9%; 0.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier but unchanged on the previous quarter
  • the estimated UK unemployment rate for men was 4.1%; this is 0.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier but unchanged on the previous quarter
  • the estimated UK unemployment rate for women was 3.7%; this is largely unchanged compared with a year earlier and on the quarter



Publication date: 16th June 2020
Next publication date: 16th July 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

UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product

Main points

  • UK GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April 2020
  • Widespread contractions across the economy contributed to the fall in GDP in the three months to April 2020
  • GDP fell by 20.4% in April 2020
  • The services sector fell by 9.9% in the three months to April 2020
  • Production fell by 9.5% in the three months to April 2020
  • Output in the construction sector fell by 18.2% in the three months to April 2020






Release Date: 12th June 2020 
Next Release Date: 14th July 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

BRC - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

Retail Sales image

Covering the four weeks 3 - 30 May 2020

  • On a Total basis, sales decreased by 5.9% in May, against a decrease of 1.9% in May 2019*. This is the second worst decline recorded since our monitor began in January 1995, an improvement over April. It is above the 3-month average decline of 9.4% and below the 12m average decline of 2.6%.
  • In May, UK retail sales increased 7.9% on a Like-for-like basis from May 2019, when they had decreased 2.2% from the preceding year*. In May, Like-for-like has been measured EXCLUDING temporarily closed stores but including Online sales: the figure is primarily driven by Online sales.
  • Over the three months to May, In-Store sales of Non-Food items declined 50.3% on a Total and 21.9% on a Like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 14.8%. For May, the like-for-like excluding temporarily closed stores remained in double digit decline.
  • Over the three months to May, Food sales increased 8.7% on a Like-for-like basis and 5.6% on a Total basis. This is higher than the 12-month Total average growth of 2.1%. For the month of May, Food was in growth year-on-year.
  • Over the three-months to May, Non-Food retail sales decreased by 2.1% on a like-for-like basis and 21.8% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average decline of 6.4%. For the month of May, Non-Food was in decline year-on-year.
  • Online Non-Food sales increased by 60.2% in May, against a growth of 4.4% in May 2019*. This is above the 12-month average growth of 12.9%.
  • Non-Food Online penetration rate increased from 31.4% in May 2019 to 61.9% this May.

* 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
"May presented yet another testing month for retailers, with total sales down by 5.9%. The decline is less drastic when compared to April’s fall of 19.1%, however we are comparing performance to the record low of May 2019.

“The disparity between different types of retailers and categories continues, with clear divides between essential and online versus non-essential and physical. Sales of computing equipment, toys and other household goods remained strong – especially online – with home-working and entertainment firmly at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Food and drink also performed well; no doubt encouraged by warmer weather and May’s bank holidays. By contrast, many non-essential categories – especially fashion – continued to attract limited demand which will increase the pressure on them in the coming months."

“As restrictions ease, retailers have much to consider during the pandemic’s recovery-phase. Stores may soon have the greenlight to re-open but it will be a gradual affair with safety front of mind, and some doors may not reopen at all. COVID-19 has acted as an accelerant in the shift towards having less of a physical presence, not least due to the obvious need to radically reduce costs for survival. We’re also witnessing historically high levels of sales transacted online – currently over 60% – and while this will ease as more stores open, consumers have formed new habits that will see the online channel continue to be more prominent going forward.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium
"Sales in May demonstrated yet another month of struggle for retailers across the country, despite an improvement on the previous month. Nonetheless, as the sun came out and restaurants lay dormant, food sales rose with consumers taking to their local parks for beers, BBQs and picnics. Clothing and beauty sales improved slightly on April, as people left their homes to meet outside with friends and family. Continuing the lockdown trend, office supplies, fitness equipment and bicycles all performed well, thanks to strong online sales and DIY was boosted by the opening of garden centres. However, for those shops whose doors remain shuttered it was once again a tough month and even those who stayed open suffered reduced footfall and huge costs implementing social distancing measures. 

"While the month showed record growth in online sales, many retailers will be anxious to see whether demand returns to our highstreets when non-essential shops reopen from 15th June. Weak consumer confidence and social distancing rules are likely to hold back sales. Furthermore, there are concerns that if Government support is withdrawn too quickly, shops and businesses will not survive. Until the situation improves, retailers urgently need support on rents and negotiations with their landlords as high fees could force some physical retailers to shut for good.”

Food & Drink sector performance | Susan Barratt, CEO | IGD
“May marks another month of growth for the grocery retailers, with each week’s sales showing significant year-on-year gains, albeit against the backdrop of an increased cost base as a direct consequence of COVID-19. UK grocery retailers substantially benefitted from the two bank holidays and the sunniest month on record. This, combined with the start of lockdown easing, has seen more people keen to mark these occasions with BBQs and picnics.

"The latest reading of the IGD Shopper Confidence Index indicates that shopper confidence remains historically low, but there are significant shifts by region, reflecting how coronavirus is impacting different parts of the country. Tracking how the pandemic affects different shopper groups will be key to help retailers plan for the future.” 

Release Date: 9th June 2020
Next Release Date: 10th July 2020

Source: BRC

UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index (Markit and CIPS)

Markit IHS 150 x 112.jpg

Index: 28.9 May 2020
Previous month: 28.9 May 2020

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

Key findings:

  • Severe weakness persists during May, despite gradual reopening of construction sites 
  • Rapid fall in new orders amid project cancellations 
  • Supply chain disruptions remain widespread

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 2020
Next publication date: 4th August 2020

Source: Markit Economics

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 2020

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


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Simon Fleet - Sales & Marketing Director, Thomas Dudley Ltd

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