In the week to 1 August 2021, the seven-day average number of UK daily flights rose slightly by 2% from the previous week; UK daily flights have now increased by 117% from the week ending 23 May 2021, the week that international travel was allowed to restart and the UK government's travel traffic light system was implemented (17 May 2021) (EUROCONTROL). Section 3.
In the week to 2 August 2021, the seven-day average estimate of UK seated diners increased by 10 percentage points from the previous week to 129% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019 (OpenTable). Section 4.
On 30 July 2021, the volume of total online job adverts had increased slightly by 3% and was at 135% of its February 2020 average level; the biggest weekly increase was seen in the "transport/logistics/warehouse" category, which rose by 11% over the latest week (Adzuna). Section 5.
In mid-July 2021, 25% of UK businesses saw a decrease in turnover compared with what is normally expected at this time of year; this is the lowest proportion seen since the series began in June 2020 (initial results from Wave 36 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS)). Section 6.
In the week to 31 July 2021, overall retail footfall in the UK had increased by 2% and was at 77% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019; the weekly rise was in-part driven by an 8% increase in footfall at shopping centres over the week (Springboard). Section 7.
In the week to 29 July 2021, the aggregate CHAPS-based indicator of credit and debit card purchases increased by 2 percentage points from the previous week, to 96% of its February 2020 average (Bank of England CHAPS data). Section 8.
The proportion of adults who left their home and wore a face covering was at 92% in the latest week, down 3 percentage points from the previous week (Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, 28 July to 1 August 2021). Section 9.
The volume of all motor vehicle traffic on Monday 2 August 2021 was at 98% of the level seen in the first week of February 2020; this is unchanged from the previous week (Department for Transport). Section 10.
In the week ending 1 August 2021, the average count of traffic camera activity for "pedestrians and cyclists" in London and Greater Manchester increased by 9% and 18%, respectively, when compared with the previous week (Transport for London, Transport for Greater Manchester). See the accompanying dataset.
There were 13,186 company incorporations in the week to 30 July 2021, broadly unchanged when compared with the previous week (13,166), but 4% higher than the equivalent week of 2019 (12,655) (Companies House). See the accompanying dataset.
There were 5,735 voluntary dissolution applications in the week to 30 July 2021, a 6% increase from the previous week (5,397) and 3% higher than the equivalent week of 2019 (5,568) (Companies House). See the accompanying dataset.
These data are daily flight figures from the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). Daily flight numbers for the UK alongside other countries are available in EUROCONTROL's dashboard. EUROCONTROL is a pan-European, civil-military organisation dedicated to supporting European aviation. Its Aviation Intelligence and Performance Review Unit provides independent collection and validation of air navigation services performance-related data and intelligence gathering.
These flights data include international arrivals and departures to and from the UK (including Crown Dependencies) and domestic UK flights, but exclude overflights (flights that pass over UK territory). They capture all flight movements that operate under Instrumental Flight Rules (IFR), where the pilot uses instruments in the flight deck to control, guide and adjust the plane. This includes commercial flights carrying passengers and cargo as well as non-commercial flights such as private and military flights.
Data from EUROCONTROL do not include information on the volume of passengers or cargo carried on UK flights. Especially in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, flights might not be operating at full capacity and therefore trends in passengers and cargo will differ from trends in flights presented here.
In the week ending 1 August 2021, the seven-day average number of UK daily flights was 2,929. This is a slight increase of 2% from the previous week, after a substantial week-on-week increase of 17% in the week ending 25 July 2021. This follows the start of the school summer holidays across the UK throughout July. It is also the highest weekly average number of UK flights seen since the week ending 22 March 2020 (the day before the first national lockdown was implemented in the UK).
The seven-day average number of UK daily flights has now increased by 117% from the week ending 23 May 2021, the week that international travel was allowed to restart and the UK government implemented the travel traffic light system (17 May 2021).
The average number of UK daily flights in the latest week was at 45% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019; this is up slightly by 2 percentage points from the previous week when the level was 43%. In the latest week, compared with the equivalent week of 2020 (when UK travel corridors were still in place), the seven-day average number of daily flights was at 134% of its 2020 level.
The full data time series available for UK flights can be found in the accompanying dataset, which contains daily flight numbers and the rolling seven-day averages.Back to table of contents
OpenTable is a provider of data for online restaurant reservations, with daily data for the UK, London and Manchester being publicly available in its The state of the industry dashboard. These data show the impact of recent events and restrictions on the hospitality industry using a sample of restaurants on the OpenTable network across all channels, that is, online reservations, phone reservations and walk-ins.
According to OpenTable, in the week to 2 August 2021, the seven-day average estimate of UK seated diners increased by 10 percentage points, when compared with the previous week, to 129% of its level in the equivalent week of 2019. This is the highest level seen since the week ending 7 June 2021 and the largest weekly increase since the week to 31 May 2021. It also continues the upward trend seen in recent weeks, following the lifting of most legal restrictions in England on 19 July 2021.
In the latest week, the seven-day average estimate of seated diners in Manchester increased by 9 percentage points from the previous week to 134% of its level in the equivalent week of 2019. During the same period, the equivalent figure for London was 77%, up 6 percentage points from the previous week.
Since the week ending 26 April 2021 to the latest week, seated diner estimates in Manchester have consistently remained above the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019, whereas in London this has only occurred once over the same period.Back to table of contents
Job adverts by category
These figures are experimental estimates of online job adverts provided by Adzuna, an online job search engine, by category, by UK country and English region. The number of job adverts over time is an indicator of the demand for labour. The Adzuna categories used do not correspond to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories, so these values are not directly comparable with the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Vacancy Survey.
Figure 3: On 30 July 2021, the total volume of online job adverts remained substantially higher than pre-pandemic levels at 135% of its February 2020 average level
Volume of online job adverts by category, index: 100 = February 2020 average, 4 January 2019 to 30 July 2021, non-seasonally adjusted
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.
Users should note that week-on-week changes in online job advert volumes are outlined as percentages, rather than as percentage point changes. Percentage change figures quoted in the commentary will therefore not necessarily match the percentage point changes observed in the charts and accompanying dataset.
According to Adzuna, on 30 July 2021, the total volume of online job adverts in the UK saw a 3% increase when compared with the previous week (23 July 2021).
Of the 28 categories, 20 saw week-on-week growth in the number of online job adverts, the largest of which was an 11% increase in “transport/logistics/warehouse”. This category has increased substantially over the first half of 2021 and remains the highest performing category relative to its pre-pandemic levels, at 338% of its February 2020 average level in the latest week.
In the same week, five categories saw a weekly decrease in the number of online job adverts; the largest decrease was in “legal”, which fell by 3%.
On 30 July 2021, the total volume of online job adverts relative to its February 2020 average level was at 135%. Of the 28 categories, and for the fourth consecutive week, the only three that remained below their February 2020 average levels were “graduate”, “legal” and “energy, oil and gas” at 98%, 90% and 86%, respectively.
Job adverts by region
Figure 4: On 30 July 2021, the volume of online job adverts remained higher than their February 2020 average levels across all UK countries and English regions
Volume of online job adverts by UK countries and English regions, index: 100 = February 2020 average, 7 February 2020 to 30 July 2021, non-seasonally adjusted
On 30 July 2021, the volume of online job adverts had increased across all UK countries and English regions when compared with the previous week (23 July 2021). The largest weekly increase in the number of online job adverts was in Northern Ireland, growing by 13%, following three consecutive week-on-week falls. In the same week, Scotland and Wales saw 5% and 4% growth respectively, in their numbers of online job adverts.
In the latest week, volumes of online job adverts remained above their February 2020 average levels in all UK countries and English regions. The highest of these were in the North East, Northern Ireland and the East Midlands at 184%, 174% and 164% of their February 2020 average levels, respectively. The North East has been the region with the highest number of online job adverts relative to its pre-pandemic levels since 9 April 2021.
Meanwhile, relative to February 2020 average levels, the volume of online job adverts on 30 July 2021 remained lowest in London, where the corresponding figure was 115%. Despite this, the volume in London has been gradually climbing throughout 2021 and does exceed its pre-pandemic (February 2020 average) level.Back to table of contents
Initial results from Wave 36 of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) cover the reference period 12 July to 25 July 2021, with a response rate of 19.2% (7,421 responses). The survey was live for the period 26 July to 3 August 2021.
Please note, as part of our regular and ongoing quality assessment of our methods, we will be introducing improved methods used to weight smaller businesses within the BICS sample where we use employment and turnover to do so. We plan to introduce these new methods in the publication of 26 August 2021. This may lead to some revisions in estimates.
Figure 5: In mid to late July 2021, 83% of all UK businesses (excluding those that have permanently ceased trading) reported they do not expect redundancies in the next three months
Headline indicators from the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS), 12 July to 3 August 2021
Initial weighted results, Wave 36 of Office for National Statistics' (ONS') Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS).
A detailed description of the weighting methodology and the weights used for each variable is available in Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS).
Information on provisional confidence intervals for the proportion of the workforce reported to be on full or partial furlough leave can be found in the latest Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) release.
For presentational purposes, multiple profit questions have been combined into three variables.
In the last two weeks, currently trading UK businesses have initially reported that 15% of their workforce have moved from furlough or fully homeworking to a hybrid model of working, up 5 percentage points from the previous wave.
Across all UK industries in Wave 36:
88% of businesses had been trading for more than the last two weeks
1% of businesses had started trading within the last two weeks after a pause in trading
2% of businesses had paused trading but intend to restart in the next two weeks (broadly unchanged from Wave 35)
6% of businesses had paused trading and do not intend to restart in the next two weeks (unchanged from Wave 35)
3% of businesses had permanently ceased trading (unchanged from Wave 35)
|Turnover has increased by more than 50%||<1%|
|Turnover has increased between 20% and 50%||3%|
|Turnover has increased by up to 20%||8%|
|Turnover has not been affected||55%|
|Turnover has decreased by up to 20%||13%|
|Turnover has decreased between 20% and 50%||8%|
|Turnover has decreased by more than 50%||4%|
Download this table Table 1: 25% of businesses saw a decrease in turnover in mid-July 2021 compared with what is normally expected this time of year, the lowest proportion seen since the series began in June 2020.xls .csv
National retail footfall
National footfall figures are supplied by Springboard, a provider of data on customer activity. They measure the following for overall UK retail footfall, as well as by high street, retail park, and shopping centre categories:
daily retail footfall as a percentage of its level on the same day of the equivalent week of 2019; for example, Saturday 31 July 2021 is compared with Saturday 27 July 2019
total weekly retail footfall as a percentage of its level in the equivalent week of 2019
the percentage change in weekly footfall compared with the previous week; for example, Week 30 of 2021 is compared with Week 29 of 2021
Springboard's weekly data are defined over a seven-day period running from Sunday to Saturday; Week 30 of 2021 therefore refers to the period Sunday 25 July 2021 to Saturday 31 July 2021
According to Springboard, in the week to 31 July 2021, the volume of overall retail footfall in the UK increased by 2% from the previous week (week to 24 July 2021). This increase follows on from a similar rise the previous week, after the lifting of most legal restrictions in England on 19 July 2021, and is the fourth consecutive weekly rise in overall retail footfall seen in recent weeks. The latest week’s increase was in-part driven by a week-on-week rise of 8% in footfall at shopping centres. Over the same week, footfall at retail parks and high streets each remained broadly unchanged.
In the latest week to 31 July 2021, overall retail footfall was at 77% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019. Comparing retail locations, footfall at retail parks remained the strongest relative to pre-pandemic levels, at 97% of its equivalent 2019 level. Meanwhile, the corresponding figures for shopping centres and high streets were 73% and 70%, respectively. Throughout most of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, footfall at retail parks has consistently been strongest when compared with other retail locations, relative to their 2019 levels.
Regional retail footfall
According to Springboard, in the week to 31 July 2021, retail footfall saw week-on-week percentage increases in 8 of the 10 UK countries and English regions, the largest of which was in Wales where it rose by 9% over the week. The North and Yorkshire saw no change in footfall volume over the week, while Northern Ireland saw a weekly decrease of 2%.
In the same week, relative to the levels seen in the equivalent week of 2019, retail footfall was strongest in the South West of England, the West Midlands and East of England, at 82%, 81% and 81%, respectively. In contrast, retail footfall was weakest in the East Midlands and Northern Ireland, each at 75% of the levels seen in the equivalent week of 2019.Back to table of contents
Daily CHAPS-based indicator
These data series are experimental faster indicators for estimating UK spending on credit and debit cards. They track the daily CHAPS payments made by credit and debit card payment processors to around 100 major UK retail corporates. These payments are the proceeds of recent credit and debit card transactions made by customers at their stores, both via physical and via online platforms. More information on the indicator is provided in the accompanying methodology article.
Companies are allocated to one of four categories based on their primary business:
"staples" refers to companies that sell essential goods that households need to purchase, such as food and utilities
"work-related" refers to companies providing public transport or selling petrol
"delayable" refers to companies selling goods whose purchase could be delayed, such as clothing or furnishings
"social" refers to spending on travel and eating out
Figure 8 shows changes in the value of CHAPS payments received by large UK corporates from their credit and debit card processors, “merchant acquirers”.
In the week to 29 July 2021, the CHAPS-based indicator of credit and debit card purchases in aggregate increased slightly by 2 percentage points from the previous week to 96% of its February 2020 average level. The “social” and “delayable” spending categories rose by 6 and 2 percentage points, respectively. Meanwhile, “staple” and “work-related” spending each fell by 2 percentage points from the previous week.
In the latest week, “work-related” and “staple” spending remained above their February 2020 average levels, at 116% and 104%, respectively. Conversely, “delayable” and “social” spending were at 90% and 88% of their February 2020 average levels, respectively.Back to table of contents
According to Department for Transport (DfT) non-seasonally adjusted road traffic data, the volume of all motor vehicle traffic on Monday 2 August 2021 was at 98% of the level seen on the Monday of the first week in February 2020, unchanged from the previous week (Monday 26 July 2021).
On the same day, traffic volumes for light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles each remained broadly similar to that seen in the previous week, at 107% and 104% of their levels seen in the first week of February 2020, respectively. Car vehicle traffic remained unchanged over the latest week, at 95% of the level seen in the first week of February 2020.
Figure 9: The volume of motor vehicle traffic on Monday 2 August 2021 was at 98% of its level in the first week of February 2020
Daily road traffic index: 100 = same traffic as the equivalent day of the week in the first week of February 2020, 1 March 2020 to 2 August 2021, non-seasonally adjusted
- The blue shaded areas refer to periods when restrictions across the UK were in effect. In order, these were: first national lockdown in the UK (23 March 2020) to easing of restrictions with non-essential shops reopening in England (15 June 2020); second lockdown in England (5 November 2020) to lockdown being replaced with three-tier system in England (2 December 2020); third lockdown announced in Scotland and England (4 January 2021) to "stay at home" restrictions ending in England (29 March 2021).
The daily DfT estimates are indexed to the first week of February 2020 and the comparison is with the same day of the week. The data provided are useful as an indication of traffic change rather than actual traffic volumes. More information on the methods, quality and economic analysis for these indicators can be found in the DfT methodology article.Back to table of contents
UK spending on credit and debit cards
Dataset | Released 5 August 2021
Experimental indicator for monitoring UK retail purchases derived from the Bank of England's Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) data.
Dataset | Released 17 June 2021
Experimental weekly and daily ship visits dataset covering UK ports.
Traffic camera activity
Dataset | Released 5 August 2021
Experimental daily traffic camera counts data for busyness indices covering the UK.
Online job advert estimates
Dataset | Released 5 August 2021
Experimental job advert indices covering the UK online job market.
Company Incorporations and Voluntary Dissolutions
Dataset | Released 5 August 2021
The number of weekly Companies House Incorporations and Voluntary Dissolution applications accepted.
Daily UK flights
Dataset | Released 5 August 2021
Experimental daily UK flight numbers and rolling seven-day average, including flights to, from, and within the UK.
Online weekly price changes
Dataset | Released 1 July 2021
Experimental estimates of online price changes for a selection of food and drink products from several large UK retailers.
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.
Incorporations are when a company is added to the Companies House register of limited companies. This can also include where an existing business applies to become a limited company, where it was not one before.
Voluntary dissolution applications
A voluntary dissolution application is when a company applies to begin dissolution proceedings. As such, they effectively chose to be removed from the Companies House register. For a company to be eligible to voluntarily dissolve, it should not have completed any trading activity for a period of three months.Back to table of contents
UK coronavirus restrictions
A full overview of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions for each of the four UK constituent countries can be found at:
These restrictions should be considered when interpreting the data featured throughout this bulletin.Back to table of contents
Information on the strengths and limitations of the indicators in this bulletin is available in the Coronavirus and the latest indicators of the UK economy and society methodology.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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