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UK Executive Report summary

January 2021

Period covered: Period covered: 01 Dec 2020 – 31 Dec 2020

Note: Reporting periods are either one month or two months behind the current month as standard.

GDP is forecast to decline by 10.7% for 2020 overall, according to the latest independent and city forecasts from the Treasury.

The parts of the economy hardest-hit have been low paying industries such as retail and hospitality, disproportionately impacting younger workers. Higher paying industries have fared much better, enabling workforces to operate from home, which has created better job security and fostered greater levels of confidence.

The latest ONS labour market data shows a significant increase in unemployment. The unemployment rate crept up to 5.0% in the three months to November 2020. This marks a 1.2 percentage points increase on last year and a 0.6 percentage points rise on the previous three month period.

The employment rate remained unchanged at 75.2% in the three months to November – 1.1 percentage points lower than a year earlier. This equates to 32.5 million people aged 16 years and over in employment, which is 398,000 fewer than a year earlier and marks the largest annual decrease since February 2010.

The number of people reporting redundancy in the three months to November 2020 reached a record high of 395,000, up 280,000 on the same period in 2019.

Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 3.6% year-on-year in the three months to November 2020.

CPI inflation accelerated in December, rising by 0.6% year-on-year, up from the 0.3% rise in the previous month and above market expectations of a 0.5% rise.

GfK’s Consumer Confidence measure reduced by two points to -28 in January – marking a dip on December’s -26, and a drop of 19 points compared to a year earlier.

According to Lloyds, business confidence edged lower after December’s vaccine-led jump, falling 3 points in January to -7%, reflecting renewed concerns about the pandemic.

UK Executive Report

Source: Retail Economics Retail Sales Index

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