Size and growth of the UK non-financial business economy as measured by the Annual Business Survey (ABS), and the value of e-commerce and the adoption and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by UK businesses.
The percentage of UK businesses currently trading has remained consistent from late May 2021 to early June 2021, at 87%, the joint highest percentage of businesses currently trading since comparable estimates began in June 2020.
The proportion of businesses' workforce who are reported to be on furlough leave has fallen from around 20% in late-January 2021 to 7% in late-May 2021, the lowest proportion since the furlough scheme began; this return from furlough corresponds to the highest proportion of the workforce working at their normal place of work, at 62%.
Despite recent improvements in the proportion of businesses trading, many companies were trading below their usual capacity, with 31% of businesses reporting turnover lower than normal; in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry this figure is over 60%.
In 2018, the approximate gross value added at basic prices (aGVA) of the UK non-financial business economy was estimated to be £1,273.5 billion; this was an increase of £51.2 billion (4.2%) compared with 2017.
The estimate of aGVA represents the income (turnover) of UK businesses, less the cost of goods and services consumed in the production process (purchases); all four of the main sectors of the non-financial business economy (production, construction, distribution and non-financial services) continued to show growth in 2018.
The non-financial services sector, which accounted for over half (56.9%) of total aGVA in 2018, increased by £34.0 billion (4.9%); professional, scientific and technical activities contributed the highest level of aGVA within this sector, increasing by £9.6 billion (5.8%) in 2018.
The indicators and analysis presented in this article are based on selected responses over time from the new voluntary fortnightly business survey, which captures businesses responses on how their turnover, workforce, prices, trade and business resilience have been affected in the two week reference period. This data relates to the period 23 March 2020 to 17 May 2020 (Wave 2 to Wave 5).
Annual data on business turnover, approximate gross value added (aGVA), purchases and employment costs, from the Annual Business Survey. Two-digit Standard Industrial Classification 2007 group by region or country.