Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 30 July 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.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

Cyswllt:
Email Chloe Gibbs

Dyddiad y datganiad:
30 July 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
6 August 2020

1. Main points

  • 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). See Section 2.

  • 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). See section 3.

  • 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. See Section 4.

  • The volume of job adverts remained at 52% of its 2019 average between 17 and 24 July 2020. See Section 5.

  • Prices decreased for a number of high demand products (HDPs) in the week beginning 20 July 2020, and the all HDP index fell by 0.1%. See Section 6.

  • 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. See Section 7.

  • 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. See Section 8.

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

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2. Business impact of the coronavirus

This section includes final results from Wave 9 of the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) for the period 29 June to 12 July 2020, which closed on 26 July 2020. Out of 24,493 businesses sampled, 24% responded.

As a user of the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) data, we would like to hear your thoughts on the future of the survey. If you would like to provide your views, please complete this short questionnaire to help shape the future of BICS. The survey will remain open until 21 August 2020.

Figure 1: Two-fifths of businesses who had furloughed staff provided pay top-ups to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, covering 67% of their furloughed workforce

Headline indicators from the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey, 29 June to 12 July, UK

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Source: Office for National Statistics – Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey

Notes

  1. All percentages are a proportion of the number of businesses who responded apart from the workforce percentages on furlough leave and receiving pay top-ups, which are proportions of employees for each responding business.

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Of all responding businesses:

  • 86% had been trading for more than the last two weeks
  • 6% had started trading again within the last two weeks after a pause in trading
  • 2% had paused trading but intend to restart trading in the next two weeks
  • 5% had paused trading and do not intend to restart in the next two weeks

Figure 2 shows current working status as reported by businesses continuing to trade. Businesses that are not currently trading will also have furloughed workforce that are not included here.

Across all industries, 72% of the workforce in businesses continuing to trade had been working at their normal workplace or remotely for more than 2 weeks, 7% had returned to work from furlough in the last two weeks, and 17% remained on furlough.

Of businesses still trading, the arts, entertainment and recreation industry had the highest proportion of the workforce on furlough, at 47%, followed by accommodation and food services at 43%. Of the workforce proportions returning from furlough in the last two weeks, accommodation and food services were the highest at 18%, followed by arts, entertainment and recreation and construction, both at 15%.

Private sector human health and social work, and wholesale and retail were the industries that had the highest proportion of the workforce off sick or in self-isolation because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with statutory or company pay, with 3% each.

The water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities industry and information and communication had the highest proportion of the workforce working for longer than the last two weeks, each at 89%.

More comprehensive final results and data from Wave 9 of BICS can be found in the accompanying release, Coronavirus and the economic impacts on UK: 30 July 2020.

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 are working safely in our studies and surveys.

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    3. Social impacts of the coronavirus on Great Britain

    This section includes some headline results from Wave 19 of the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) covering the period 22 to 26 July 2020. The full results will be published in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain on 31 July 2020.

    Figure 3 shows that the proportion of adults wearing a face covering in the previous week when leaving the home continued to increase, from 71% when asked between 15 to 19 July 2020, to 84% when asked between 22 to 26 July. This continues an increasing trend after face coverings became mandatory on public transport in England on 15 June, and in other enclosed public spaces in England on 24 July. In Scotland, face coverings on public transport were mandated on 22 June, and in shops on 10 July. In Wales, face coverings on public transport were mandated on 27 July, after these data were collected.

    The proportion of adults shopping for items other than food and medicine remained stable this week at 20%. The proportion of people travelling to work continued to increase gradually, reaching 54%, while the proportion working from home exclusively continued to decline to 24%.

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    4. Footfall

    These figures are provided by Springboard, a provider of data on customer activity. They measure the volume of footfall compared with the same day the previous year at the overall level and across the categories of high streets, retail parks and shopping centres. For example, Tuesday 14 July 2020 was compared with Tuesday 16 July 2019.

    Across 20 to 26 July 2020, the seven-day average of overall footfall increased slightly to just over 60% of its level across the same period in the previous year. This continues the gradual increase in footfall seen since the re-opening of non-essential shops and businesses in England, on 15 June.

    Footfall in high streets increased moderately between 19 to 26 July 2020, to just under 60% of its level the same day a year ago. Until this week, shopping centres had a stronger recovery in footfall than high streets, but high streets have now caught up, with both just under 60%.

    Retail parks still have the strongest footfall performance, holding steady at just under 80% of its level a year ago. However, this indicates little change since non-essential shops and businesses began to re-open six weeks ago.

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    5. 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. Estimates of online job adverts by NUTS1 region are currently under development. The number of job adverts over time is an indicator of the demand for labour.

    Figure 5: Between 17 and 24 July 2020, the total volume of job adverts remained at 52% of its 2019 average

    Total weekly job adverts on Adzuna, UK, 4 January 2019 to 24 July 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. 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.

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    Overall, between 17 and 24 July 2020, the volume of total online job adverts remained unchanged at 52% of its 2019 average. It has stayed around half the 2019 average since the start of June, indicating online job adverts have been slow to recover from their low point on 1 May 2020.

    Just over half of the Adzuna categories declined from the previous week, and just under half increased. In particular, online job adverts for healthcare and social care declined from 97% to 93% of their 2019 average, and adverts for education declined from 84% to 80%. The largest increase this week was for the category of transport, logistics and warehouse, which increased from 55% to 66% of its 2019 average.

    The categories presented here were selected because of user interest, and because they more closely track trends in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 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.

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    6. 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 26 July 2020. A timeline of developments for these indicators can be found in Online price changes of high-demand products methodology. This analysis is experimental and should not be compared with our regular consumer price statistics.

    Figure 6 shows that in addition to the overall HDP items index falling by 0.1%, the prices for all household and hygiene goods and all food both fell by 0.2% in the latest week (20 to 26 July 2020). These movements are smaller than in the previous week (13 to 19 July), when they fell by 0.7%, 1.1%, and 0.7% respectively. As well as food, and household and hygiene products, the all items index contains items such as pet food and medicines (such as vitamin C), which mean that the all items index sometimes moves differently to the two subseries.

    Most items in the HDP basket showed a decrease this week. Figure 7 shows that although the price of vitamin C showed the largest increase, it has previously been more volatile, and in this week is only 1.9% above its level in Week 1. It should be noted that the sample size for vitamin C is very small and these recent changes have been driven by a single retailer. Nappies have also shown a lot of volatility as products go on and off promotion across multiple retailers.

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    7. Energy Performance Certificates

    This release includes weekly Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for new and existing domestic properties in England and Wales, split by NUTS1 English regions. The EPCs for domestic properties are published weekly by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). As such, they can be used as a timely indicator for the number of completed constructions and number of transactions.

    An EPC contains information on the energy efficiency of a property and is a requirement when a property is built, sold or rented in England and Wales. New building(s) or conversions of existing buildings require an EPC once construction has been completed. More information on the EPC methods, strengths and limitations is available in the accompanying methodology article.

    Figure 8 shows in the week commencing 20 July 2020, existing EPC lodgements returned to levels similar to those observed at the end of February across all regions, while EPC lodgements for new dwellings were around 20% lower across England and Wales combined. EPC lodgements for both new and existing dwellings started to recover towards the end of May after reaching a low in early April, though EPCs for new dwellings recovered at a slower rate. A reduction in construction would contribute to the delay in EPC assessments of new dwellings.

    The spike in the number of EPCs for existing dwellings seen in Wales during the weeks commencing 8 and 15 June 2020 was caused by local authorities in Wales reviewing their social housing stock.

    Figure 8: In the week commencing 20 July 2020, EPC lodgements for existing dwellings returned to levels similar to those observed at the end of February across all regions, whilst EPC lodgements for new dwellings were around 20% lower across England and Wales

    Existing and new Energy Performance Certificates lodgements by region, non-seasonally adjusted, February 2020 to July 2020. Percentage change since week commencing 24 February 2020

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    Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Domestic Energy Performance Certificate Register

    Notes:

    1. Further notes are available in the weekly EPCs for domestic properties dataset.
    2. Week commencing 24 February 2020 is when the time series begins; we will look to expand this in the future.
    3. Wales shown on a different scale.

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    8. Shipping

    These shipping indicators are based on counts of all vessels, cargo and tanker vessels and passenger 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.

    While the number of daily visits of all ships increased substantially through June 2020, throughout July 2020 it has stabilised to normal levels of traffic, similar to pre-lockdown levels. On a seasonally adjusted basis, there was an average of 384 daily visits between 20 and 26 July, compared with a daily average of 374 visits the previous week.

    Cargo ships remained stable for a third consecutive week, at a weekly average of 96 daily visits compared with a daily average of 91 and 93 visits in the previous two weeks. Visits of passenger ships saw an increase in their daily average from 83 the week before to 92 visits between 20 and 26 July, the highest daily average since week commencing 30 March 2020.

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    9. Data

    Weekly and daily shipping indicators
    Dataset | Released 30 July 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 30 July 2020
    Weekly online price changes of selected high-demand products (HDPs).

    Online job advert estimates
    Dataset | Released 30 July 2020
    Experimental job advert indices covering the UK job market.

    Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) results
    Dataset | Released 30 July 2020
    Final results from the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS). This qualitative fortnightly survey covers business turnover, workforce, prices and trade.

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    10. 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 product (HDP) basket

    The HDP 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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    11. 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 in the future.

    As a user of the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) data, we would like to hear your thoughts on the future of the survey. If you would like to provide your views, please complete this short questionnaire to help shape the future of BICS. The survey will remain open until 21 August 2020.

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    12. 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 warnings in this section in the future.

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    Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

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