Latest Economy Indicators and News
According to the latest ONS figures, retailers have had their worst annual sales performance on record in 2020. This has been driven by decreased demand for fashion and homeware products, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have shown.
The latest economic news and indicators for the UK make for gloomy reading: and as we’re in lock down, they will probably remain so for the foreseeable future.
Remember though, they should be taken for what they are – a snapshot at a particular point in time. Once the vaccination programme fully kicks in and lockdown restrictions ease, we should see an improvement in our lives and businesses.
The Latest Economic News
Although food sales growth rose 5.4% compared to 2019, non-food fell about 5%. This is an overall fall of 0.3%, in a year dominated by the Covid-19 impact. This is the worst annual change since the BRC began collating the figures in 1995.
The latest Government surveys show that for all businesses, excluding those who have permanently ceased trading, 11% of their workforce are on furlough leave, a decrease from 16% previously.
UK footfall overall is down by 38% compared to January 2020, and we can expect this to fall further as we stay in lock down.
The Chancellor has stated that the UK economy has “to get worse before it gets better”, and that the new national restrictions were necessary to control the spread of coronavirus.
We expect to see further Government supports announced shortly and we will keep our clients fully informed of when and how these will be applied.
Resilient Businesses Give Hope
What is interesting is that according to the most recent results of the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (30 November to 13 December 2020), 84% of UK businesses were trading. This is an increase from 80% in the last survey (16 to 29 November). Clearly this will fall in January, February and March as the lock down continues.
What these figures do show us is that businesses are resilient, and are adapting to the changes caused by the Pandemic – a positive and hopeful sign of the recovery to come.
We are seeing some remarkable clients who have adopted new technologies to change the way they conduct business and distribute their goods or services. Talk to us about helping you pivot or repurpose your business and adapting for the future.