UK Economic and Social Trends: Real-time Indicators for August 24, 2023

Overview: Early experimental data offers insights into the economic and social landscape of the UK. These rapid indicators are generated using quick-response surveys, innovative data sources, and experimental methodologies.

Key Highlights:

1. Online Job Adverts: The total number of online job advertisements declined by 2% on August 18, 2023, compared to the previous week. This number was 7% lower than the same period in 2022. Notably, certain categories like “charity or voluntary” and “customer service or support” saw a decrease of 6%. Year-on-year decreases were particularly pronounced in “human resources (HR) and recruitment” and “IT, computing, and software,” which fell by 38% and 37% respectively. However, overall online job adverts have remained relatively steady in the past six months.

2. Business Outlook: Looking forward to September 2023, 18% of trading businesses anticipate an increase in turnover, up from 15% reported in August 2023. Meanwhile, 55% expect their turnover to remain the same (based on results from Wave 89 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey).

3. Consumer Behavior: Consumer behavior indicators revealed decreased activity in the most recent week. Revolut debit card spending dropped by 2 percentage points, and the aggregate CHAPS-based indicator of credit and debit card purchases decreased by 4 points. UK retail footfall also decreased to 98% of the previous week’s level.

4. Energy: Both the System Average Price (SAP) of gas and the System Price of electricity increased by 10% and 3% respectively, compared to the previous week. However, these values remained significantly lower than the same period last year, with gas SAP and electricity System Price 77% and 79% lower respectively.

5. Transport: In the week leading up to August 20, 2023, average traffic camera activity for cars in London remained unchanged from the previous week. The average number of flights was 5,989, largely consistent with the week before, remaining higher than the same period last year, but lower than the same week in 2019.