September 18, 2020
UK: retail faces painful consumer awakening_image

UK: retail faces painful consumer awakening

  • Retail sales grew again in August to sit 4% above pre-Covid levels. It remains supported by the rotation away from the greater value-added activities on the high street, despite support from the now-expired eat out to help out scheme.
  • Local lockdowns and warnings about rising infections are likely to block the gradual recovery in city movements soon. Meanwhile, consumers are starting to recognise that the economic pain will affect them too, which should hit demand.

September 15, 2020
UK: return to real labour begins in Jul-20_image

UK: return to real labour begins in Jul-20

  • The unemployment rate increased to 4.1% in July but not because of falling employment. Normalisation in the labour force participation rate meant supply increased faster than demand. Low vacancies should drive the UR toward 7.5%.
  • Average weekly earnings have followed the “real-time” median and surged, with ex-bonus pay almost back to pre-Covid levels in July. The end of furlough for many workers raises hours and pay ahead of slack bearing down on the latter’s growth.