Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 18 June 2020

Early experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society. These faster indicators are created using rapid response surveys, novel data sources and experimental methods.

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Cyswllt:
Email Chloe Gibbs

Dyddiad y datganiad:
18 June 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
25 June 2020

1. Other pages in this release

More detailed commentary on the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the UK economy and society is available in the following pages:

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2. Main points

  • According to the latest Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS), 30% of the workforce were on furlough, and 42% of businesses were topping up workers’ pay.

  • According to the latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), nearly half of all working adults (49%) had worked from home between 11 and 14 June 2020, an increase from 41% the previous week; this supplemented results from BICS, which showed that 5% of the workforce had returned from furlough leave between 18 May and 14 June 2020.

  • Between 5 June and 12 June 2020, the volume of online job adverts in wholesale and retail increased from 24.1% to 35.1% of their 2019 average, in anticipation of non-essential retailers reopening.

  • Overall, prices of items in the high-demand products (HDPs) basket remained stable between the week ending 7 June 2020 and the week ending 14 June 2020.

  • During the period 8 June to 14 June 2020, there was a moderate rise in the number of daily ship visits compared with the previous week.

  • From 16 March to 9 June 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has received 3.1 million individual declarations and 1 million new claim advances to Universal Credit.

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Online price change analysis is experimental and should not be compared with our regular consumer price statistics. The Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) is voluntary and currently unweighted, so it may only reflect the characteristics of those who responded. Results presented are experimental.

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3. Indicators included in this release

This bulletin contains:

We will add new experimental data and indices as and when new data become available and list them in this section.

This release does not contain data on the number of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our weekly deaths bulletin and accompanying dataset provides the most up-to-date figures on deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales.

More about coronavirus

  • Find the latest on coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
  • All ONS analysis, summarised in our coronavirus roundup.
  • View all coronavirus data.
  • Find out how we're working safely during the pandemic.

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    4. Business impact of the coronavirus

    This section includes final results from Wave 6 of the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) for the period 18 May to 31 May 2020, which closed on 14 June 2020. Out of 20,548 businesses sampled, 35.3% responded.

    Figure 1: 30% of the workforce had been furloughed1, with 42% of those businesses reporting a top-up to furloughed workers' pay on top of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    Headline indicators from the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey, UK, 18 May to 31 May 2020

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    Notes:

    1. All percentages are a proportion of the number of businesses who responded apart from the percentages on furlough leave, which are a proportion of the workforce apportioned by workforce size.
    2. Final results, Wave 6 of ONS Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (response rate = 35.3%).
    3. Businesses were asked for their experiences for the reference period 18 May to 31 May 2020, but for questions regarding the last two weeks, or the next two weeks, businesses may respond relative to the point of completing their questionnaire (responses collected 1 June to 14 June 2020).
    4. Businesses were asked for their trading status for period 1 June to 14 June 2020, not the reference period 18 May to 31 May 2020.
    5. The category "Providing pay top-ups" has been calculated as the number of businesses who have provided top-ups to furloughed staff pay, as a proportion of all businesses who have furloughed staff. It does not include businesses who have not furloughed staff.

    Of the responding businesses, 79% had been trading for more than the last two weeks, 5% had started trading again within the last two weeks after a pause in trading, while 16% reported they had temporarily closed or paused trading. A small number of businesses (less than 1%) responded that they had permanently ceased trading in the period.

    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was the most common government scheme applied for, with 81% of all businesses applying.

    Across all industries, for those businesses that have responded and that had not permanently stopped trading, 30% of the workforce had been furloughed under the terms of the CJRS. Of those businesses with a proportion of their workforce furloughed, 42% of businesses reported providing top-ups to furloughed workers pay on top of the CJRS at the point of completing their questionnaire.

    At a UK level, of businesses continuing to trade, 65% reported their turnover had been lower than normal in the previous two weeks from the point of completion of the questionnaire. More detail, including a regional breakdown, is available in Coronavirus and the economic impacts on the UK: 18 June 2020.

    Of businesses that reported trading, 5% of the workforce had returned from furlough in the last two weeks, while 2% had returned from remote working to the normal workplace. The three industries reporting the highest proportion of the workforce returning from furlough were construction, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services, at 14%, 10% and 8% respectively (Figure 2).

    Further information on the workforce can be found in Section 9 of the detailed dataset in Coronavirus and the economic impacts on the UK: 18 June 2020.

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    5. Social impacts of the coronavirus on Great Britain

    This section includes some headline results from Wave 13 of the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) covering the period 11 to 14 June 2020. The full results will be published in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain on 19 June 2020. Of the 2,500 individuals sampled, 76% (1,896 individuals) responded.

    Figure 3 shows there was a decrease in the proportion of adults visiting a park or public green space, decreasing from 53% between 4 and 7 June 2020 to 45% between 11 and 14 June 2020, in line with increased rainfall in the first half of June 2020.

    There has also been an increase in the proportion of working adults who were working from home; this was mainly driven by adults shifting from not actively working to working (either exclusively from home or a mixture of working from home and travelling to work). Of those adults who said they were in employment, almost 8 in 10 (79%) said they had worked either at home or travelled to work this week, an increase from 7 in 10 (70%) last week. This is in line with results from the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey, which showed that 5% of the workforce who worked for businesses currently trading had returned from furlough leave between 18 May and 14 June 2020.

    Official estimates of labour market participation are available in the Labour market overview, UK: June 2020 bulletin.

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    6. Online job adverts

    These figures use job adverts provided by Adzuna, an online job search engine. These estimates are experimental and will be developed over the coming weeks. The number of job adverts over time is an indicator of the demand for labour.

    Figure 4: Between 5 June and 12 June 2020, online job adverts in wholesale and retail increased from 24.1% to 35.1% of their 2019 average, in anticipation of shops reopening

    Total weekly job adverts on Adzuna, UK, 4 January 2019 to 12 June 2020, index 2019 average = 100

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    Notes:

    1. The observations were collected on a roughly weekly basis; however, they were not all observed at the same point in each week, leading to slightly irregular gaps between each observation.
    2. These series have a small number of missing weeks, mostly in late 2019, and the latest is in January 2020. These values have been imputed using linear interpolation. The data points that have been imputed are clearly marked in the accompanying dataset.
    3. The figure for total adverts in education on 21 March 2019 was anomalous and has been replaced with an imputed value.
    4. Further category breakdowns are included in the Online job advert estimates dataset, and more details on the methodology can be found in Using Adzuna data to derive an indicator of weekly vacancies.

    Between 5 June and 12 June 2020, the volume of online job adverts in the wholesale and retail category saw a large increase from 24.1% to 35.1% of its 2019 average. This is likely to be in anticipation of shops reopening on 15 June 2020. Job adverts in the categories of education, and health and social care both saw significant increases, with health and social care reaching 102.9% of its 2019 average. In contrast, job adverts in the catering and hospitality category saw only a small increase from 18.1% to 19.6% of its 2019 average.

    Across the same period, total online job adverts increased from 45.6% to 50.1% of their 2019 average, the largest increase since lockdown was announced. This increase is spread relatively evenly across many categories of job adverts, with every sector seeing a positive change. While levels of online job adverts are still far below pre-lockdown levels, this may offer early evidence of some recovery in demand for labour.

    The categories presented here were selected because of user interest, and because they more closely track trends in the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS’s) vacancies data. Note that the Adzuna categories used do not correspond to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories, so these values are not directly comparable with the ONS Vacancy survey. Historically the “health and social care” category has shown a strong correlation with the ONS Vacancy survey, but from April 2020 it has increasingly diverged from the vacancies data.

    The Institute for Employment Studies are also using Adzuna data to produce weekly vacancy indicators, and more granular breakdowns of these vacancies data can be found in their release.

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    7. Online price change for high-demand products (HDPs)

    A timely indication of weekly price change for high-demand products (HDPs) has been developed, covering the period 16 March to 14 June 2020. This analysis is experimental and should not be compared with our regular consumer price statistics.

    As experimental indices, these data are subject to revisions as we develop our methodology and systems. A timeline of developments for these indicators can be found in Online price changes of high-demand products methodology.

    Figure 5 shows that overall, the online prices of items in the HDP basket have remained stable, decreasing by 0.1% between week 12 (1 to 7 June 2020) and week 13 (8 to 14 June 2020). The price changes of individual items were smaller this week relative to changes seen in the previous few weeks. The largest changes in price were for spray cleaning products (increasing by 0.6%) and tissues and tinned beans (both falling by 0.7%).

    Figure 6 shows that prices for all food items, and all household and hygiene items have seen a small overall increase of 1.0% and 1.1% respectively since week 1.

    At the individual item level, nappy prices have remained stable in week 13 following a notable increase between week 10 and week 12. Spray cleaning products have seen a 4.8% price increase since week 1, while the price of tinned beans continued the downward trend observed in the last few weeks, although prices remain 2.6% higher compared with week 1.

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    8. Shipping

    These shipping indicators are based on counts of all vessels, and cargo and tanker vessels. As discussed in Faster indicators of UK economic activity: shipping, we expect the shipping indicators to be related to the import and export of goods.

    This week we have introduced seasonal adjustment to more clearly identify the trend in the number of shipping visits. In addition to the data in Figure 7, the dataset contains both the adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted series as well as the trend shown here. We have extended the daily time series to 1 April 2019 to enable year-on-year comparisons.

    Total daily ship visits increased to an average of 335 (seasonally adjusted) over the most recent week. The rate of ship visits is now higher than the levels seen through April and early May 2020, but it is still lower than the levels seen in the first two months of 2020.

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    9. Universal Credit

    Figure 8: From 16 March to 9 June 2020, the Department for Work and Pensions has received 3.1 million individual declarations and 1 million new claim advances to Universal Credit

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    Notes:

    1. These declaration figures have not been derived to the same methodology as official statistics, and therefore the Management Information and official statistics will not be directly comparable. Figures relate to Great Britain only, and Northern Ireland is not included.

    The first chart in Figure 8 shows the number of new declarations, which is when an individual or household provides information on their personal circumstances to begin a Universal Credit (UC) claim. Note that not all declarations will go on to receive a payment.

    Since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there have been unprecedented levels of demand for Universal Credit. Since the advisory announcement on 16 March 2020 to avoid non-essential travel, bars, restaurants and other indoor leisure venues, and to work from home if possible, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has received 3.1 million individual declarations and 2.4 million household declarations. While there are still higher declaration volumes compared with normal business, these volumes are declining gradually from the peak on 27 March 2020.

    The second chart in Figure 8 shows the number of new claim advances, which provide support to new claimants in financial need until they receive their first regular payment of Universal Credit.

    The volume of new advance payments has seen a large increase, reaching a peak on 6 April 2020 at 35,280, which was 10 days after the peak of new declarations. Since 16 March 2020, the DWP has paid 977,660 new claim and benefit transfer advances. Following the peak, new claim advances have steadily fallen, which coincides with the trend in Universal Credit declarations.

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    10. Data

    Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) results
    Dataset | Released 18 June 2020
    Final results from the new BICS. This qualitative fortnightly survey covers business turnover, workforce, prices and trade. This dataset includes additional information collected as part of the survey including details on prices and imports and exports, which are not included within this bulletin or the Coronavirus and the economic impacts on the UK bulletin.

    Economic activity, faster indicators, UK
    Dataset | Released 18 June 2020
    Data on road traffic and Value Added Tax (VAT) data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

    Weekly and daily shipping indicators
    Dataset | Released 18 June 2020
    The weekly and daily shipping indicators dataset associated with the faster indicators of UK economic activity.

    Online price changes for high-demand products
    Dataset | Released 18 June 2020
    Weekly online price changes of selected high-demand products (HDPs).

    Online job advert estimates
    Dataset | Released 18 June 2020
    Experimental job advert indices covering the UK job market.

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    11. Glossary

    Faster indicator

    A faster indicator provides insights into economic activity using close-to-real-time big data, administrative data sources, rapid response surveys or experimental statistics, which represent useful economic and social concepts.

    High-demand products (HDPs) basket

    The high-demand products (HDPs) basket contains everyday essential items that were identified at the beginning of the crisis to have high consumer demand, including items from food, health and hygiene categories. The selection of these items was based on anecdotal evidence on patterns of consumer spend. The basket does not cover all items within these categories.

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    12. Measuring the data

    Detailed information on the data sources, quality and methodology of the different indicators included in this bulletin is available in the Coronavirus and the latest indicators of the UK economy and society methodology.

    We will summarise any crucial updates to the quality or methodology in this section going forward.

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    13. Strengths and limitations

    Detailed information on the strengths and limitations of the different indicators included in this bulletin is available in the Coronavirus and the latest indicators of the UK economy and society methodology.

    We will summarise any crucial updates or caveats in this section going forward.

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    Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

    Chloe Gibbs
    faster.indicators@ons.gov.uk
    Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 651 988