Real-Time Indicators Reflect Shifts in UK Economy (Data as of December 21, 2023)

The latest experimental data on the UK economy and society, employing rapid response surveys and novel data sources, reveals dynamic trends in economic activity and social dynamics.

Key Insights:

  1. Online Job Adverts: In the latest week, online job adverts dropped by 5% (December 15, 2023) and exhibited a 15% decrease compared to the same period in 2022. “Domestic help” and “HR and recruitment” experienced the most significant year-on-year declines, both plummeting by 42%.
  2. Business Turnover: In November 2023, 3% more firms reported increased turnover compared to the previous month, showcasing an improvement from October 2023. This positive trend was noted across various sectors.
  3. Consumer Spending: Aggregate credit and debit card spending decreased by 1% in the latest week, accompanied by a 5% decrease in “work-related” spending. However, overall retail footfall increased to 106% of the previous week and 109% of the level seen in the equivalent week in 2022.
  4. Labor Shortages: 8% of trading businesses reported a shortage of workers in December 2023, with 43% of them unable to meet business demands due to this shortage.
  5. Energy Prices: The System Price of electricity and the System Average Price (SAP) of gas both decreased compared to the previous week, showing declines of 19% and 14%, respectively, and were significantly lower than the equivalent week in 2022.
  6. Transportation: In the week to December 17, 2023, daily UK flights and average daily ship visits increased by 6%, while the average number of cargo and tanker ship visits increased by 8%. Daily UK flights also rose by 13% compared to the same week in 2022.