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Economy Indicators: ONS Releases Covid Economic Survey

Good news for high street businesses – as the ONS has released figures to show that there has been another steady increase in footfall for high streets, and retail parks and shopping centers remain steady.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has produced an economic survey on the impact of Coronavirus on 30th July. The figures were also updated on the 6th August – providing valuable insight into how certain industries have been affected more than others.

shop open sign

ONS Economic Survey Results

To summarise the survey, the main points are:

  • Of businesses still trading: the arts, entertainment and recreation industry had the highest proportion of the workforce remaining on furlough, at 47%, followed by accommodation and food services at 43%, according to the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS). 
  • The proportion of adults wearing a face covering when leaving the home increased to 84% from 71% in the previous week, according to the latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN). 
  • Between 19 and 26 July 2020, footfall in high streets moderately increased to just under 60% of its level the same day a year ago, while retail parks and shopping centres held steady at just under 80% and 60% respectively. 
  • The volume of job adverts remained at 52% of its 2019 average between 17 and 24 July 2020. 
  • Prices decreased for a number of high demand products (HDPs) in the week beginning 20 July 2020, and the High Demand products index fell by 0.1%. 
  • In the week commencing 20 July 2020, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) lodgements for existing dwellings returned to similar levels observed at the end of February across all regions, while EPC lodgements for new dwellings were around 20% lower across England and Wales; as such, they can be used as a timely indicator for the number of completed constructions and number of transactions. 
  • Average daily visits of all ships have remained stable for a fourth consecutive week, and passenger ship visits reached their highest level since the week commencing 30 March 2020. 

The ONS survey only reflects the characteristics of those who responded and can be considered experimental –  but what it does show is a moderate increase in footfall to shops and some signs of the economy opening up. 

If your business needs a plan for the “New Normal”, please talk to us – we have experience of helping our clients to repurpose or pivot into new areas. Taking some time just now to think ahead is the most valuable exercise you can do!

See the official survey for more information

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