Headline figures

  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 4 September 2020 (Week 36) was 78 (1.0% of all deaths in that week). Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of adults in Great Britain that said their well-being was being affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was 39% between 9 and 13 September 2020. Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of businesses that had been trading for more than the previous two weeks was 95% between 7 and 16 September 2020 (a further 1% had restarted in the last two weeks, 4% remained temporarily closed). Analysis | Data
  • An estimated 59,800 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 4 September and 10 September 2020 (0.11% of the community population). Analysis | Data
  • Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6% in July 2020 but is 11.7% lower than the February 2020 level. Analysis | Data
  • The UK unemployment rate for the three months to July 2020 was 4.1%; this is 0.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. Analysis | Data
  • In August 2020, retail sales volumes increased by 0.8% when compared with July; this is the fourth consecutive month of growth, resulting in an increase of 4.0% when compared with February’s pre-pandemic level. Analysis | Data

This page is a summary of insights from our most recent analysis and will be updated as new publications are released.

Sign up to our email alerts for daily updates in your inbox, or view analysis by theme in our roundups of deaths and health, the economy and the social impacts of COVID-19.

This page was last updated at 12.00pm on 18 September 2020.


18 September 2020

COVID-19 infection survey

The number of people in England who have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased in recent weeks.

An estimated 59,800 people within the community population in England had COVID-19 during the latest week, from 4 to 10 September 2020, equating to around 1 in 900 people.

Younger age groups have seen the greatest increase in infection rates, particularly those aged 2 to 11, 17 to 24 and 25 to 34 years.

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We estimate that the number of new cases of COVID-19 has also increased across the community population as a whole.

Between 4 to 10 September 2020, there were around 1.10 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people per day in the community population in England, equating to around 6,000 new cases per day.

These figures do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

Our estimates show that 1,500 people in Wales had COVID-19 during the same period, which is around 1 in 2,000 people. Read our Coronavirus infection survey bulletin for more information.

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18 September 2020

Retail sales up 4.0% compared with pre-pandemic levels

Retail sales volumes (the amount of goods bought) continued to increase in August 2020, with levels up 0.8% compared with July and up 4.0% compared with February’s pre-pandemic level. Retail sales values (the amount spent) were also up in August, increasing 0.7% on July and 2.5% compared with February.

When compared with the previous three months, a stronger rate of growth was seen in the three months to August, at 16.4% and 16.7% for value and volume sales respectively. Strong growth was seen here because of large monthly increases in June and July when compared with the sharp falls experienced over lockdown in March and April.

Despite total levels of retail sales increasing to above pre-pandemic levels, there was a mixed picture within each sector as not all stores experienced this bounce back: non-store retailing volumes were 38.9% higher than in February, and sales volumes in household goods stores up 9.9% in the same time frame, mainly because of increased sales for home improvement items.

In contrast, all non-food stores experienced a sharp decline in sales due to lockdown, and clothing stores’ August retailing volumes were still 15.9% below pre-pandemic levels. Online sales values decreased 2.5% from July. This slight decline may be because of many businesses reopening from July, resulting in less online spending in August. Other parts of the economy reopened, such as restaurants and bars, which may have impacted sales within food stores as online sales fell by 4.6% in August.

However, the strong growth experienced over the pandemic has meant that online sales were still 46.8% higher than February’s pre-pandemic levels.

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18 September 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19 by disability status

59% of all deaths involving COVID-19 from 2 March to 14 July 2020 were among disabled people. Disabled people (those limited a little and those limited a lot in their day-to-day activities by a long-term health problem or disability) aged nine years and over made up almost 6 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales between 2 March and 14 July 2020. Amongst COVID-19 related deaths of females aged 65 years and over, the proportion made up by disabled people was largest, accounting for 67% of the total.

Our analysis shows that males and females aged 9 years and over who were disabled had higher age-standardised mortality rates (ASMR) than those who were non-disabled.

Males who were disabled and limited a lot in their day-to-day activities had an overall age-standardised COVID-19 mortality rate of 240.8 deaths per 100,000 (non-disabled: 84.2 deaths per 100,000). Females who were disabled had an age-standardised COVID-19 mortality rate of 169.9 deaths per 100,000 (non-disabled: 44.4 deaths per 100,000).

The relative gaps in ASMRs between disabled and non-disabled males and females were largest amongst those aged 9 to 64 years. Mortality rates for those aged 9 to 64 years who were disabled and limited a lot in their day-to-day activities were 10.8 times greater for females and 6.5 times greater for males, than for non-disabled people in the same age and sex group.

Adjusting for age, socio-demographic, geographic and household characteristics reduced the relative difference in mortality rates between the disabled and non-disabled. The relative difference in mortality rates between those who were disabled and limited a lot in their day-to-day activities and those non-disabled was 2.4 times higher for females and 2.0 times higher for males.

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18 September 2020

Monthly mortality analysis August 2020

There were 34,750 deaths registered in England in August 2020, 2,060 deaths fewer than August’s five-year average; in Wales, 2,379 deaths were registered, 116 deaths fewer than the five-year average for August.

Our analysis of provisional death registration data in England and Wales in August 2020, shows that there were 34,750 deaths registered in England, 2,060 deaths fewer than August’s five-year average. In Wales, 2,379 deaths were registered, 116 deaths fewer than the five-year average for August.

The leading cause of death in England in August was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (10.9% of all deaths) and ischaemic heart disease in Wales (11.0% of all deaths). Both leading causes were the same in July 2020.

Of the 34,750 deaths registered in August 2020 in England, 1.4% (482 deaths) involved the coronavirus (COVID-19). In Wales, 2.2% of the 2,379 deaths registered in August involved COVID-19 (52 deaths).

Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are used for comparisons over time rather than numbers of deaths, as ASMRs account for changes to the population size and age structure. Since August 2001, overall mortality rates in England for the month of August have been decreasing. In August 2020, the mortality rate for males was 869.3 deaths per 100,000 (compared with 1,378.5 in August 2001) and 641.8 deaths per 100,000 for females (compared with 920.3 in August 2001).

Mortality rates in Wales show a similar pattern over time. In August 2020 in Wales, the mortality rate was 937.2 deaths per 100,000 for males (1,379.4 in August 2001) and 746.4 deaths per 100,000 for females (982.8 in August 2001).

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18 September 2020

Levels of socialising in the UK have decreased

Levels of socialising, eating out and travel in the UK have decreased after gradually increasing throughout the summer months.

Our Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) this week looks at the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on British society between 9 and 13 September.

For the first time since the survey began, the percentage of working adults travelling to a place of work (either exclusively or in combination with working from home) rose above 60% to 62% this week.

This rise was driven by a fall in the percentage of working adults that had neither worked from home nor travelled to a place of work in the past seven days for reasons such as being furloughed, their business was temporarily closed, they were on annual leave or unable to work because of caring responsibilities. This likely reflects the end of summer holidays and schools re-opening.

When asked about how many people they had socialised with , 57% of adults said that they had socialised with one to five adults from outside their household at the same time this week, while 13% said that they had socialised with six or more people at a time.

When visiting indoor public places such as restaurants or hairdressers, 31% of adults were asked every time they went out to provide their personal details for contact tracing purposes, but 26% said they were not asked by any establishments during the week. Of those who did get asked for their details, 69% said that they gave their details every time but 11% rarely or never chose to do so.

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17 September 2020

Travelling to work and online job adverts

The latest indicators for the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK society and economy have been published. The experimental data from the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) show that 10% of the UK workforce remain on furlough leave while 11% of businesses were at moderate to severe risk of insolvency.

For the first time since the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) started, the number of adults travelling to a place of work rose above 60% to 62%. Those who were not working from home or travelling to a place of work fell from 23% to 18%, suggesting that more people are working again. Meanwhile, the proportion of adults shopping for essentials rose to 74%, which is the highest percentage seen since June.

In the latest week, every region and country of the UK apart from Yorkshire and The Humber saw online job adverts increase, with the overall volume of job adverts increasing from 50% to 53% of last year’s average. In particular, adverts in the information technology, computing and software category rose by seven percentage points to 64% of their 2019 average.

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16 September 2020

Average house prices continued to rise in June 2020

The UK’s average house prices increased by 3.4%, to £238,000, over the year to June 2020, up from 1.1% in May 2020; this is £8,000 higher than last year.

Average house prices increased by 3.5% in England, 2.9% in Scotland and 2.8% in Wales over the year to June 2020. In Northern Ireland, average house prices increased by 3.0% over the year to Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020.

The accelerated increase may partly reflect the unusual conditions in the housing market during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. People were advised not to move house during the tightest movement restrictions in April and May. As such, property transactions completed during that time may have been more concentrated than usual among those without complicating factors, such as a chain. For example, first-time buyers – typically at the lower end of the price scale – may have been freer to complete transactions than former owner occupiers, who may have had to co-ordinate multiple sales during lockdown.

The increase in prices in June 2020 may therefore reflect some degree of pent-up demand following the easing of lockdown restrictions, particularly at the higher end of the price scale.

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15 September 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19

Up to 4 September 2020, there were 52,376 deaths registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) (28,823 men and 23,553 women).

The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (46,781 out of 52,376).

Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on death certificates. We have published a summary of where you can find data on COVID-19 infection rates and deaths for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The total number of deaths in the week ending 4 September 2020 (Week 36) was 7,739, below the five-year average and the lowest weekly total of the year to date. Registrations in the latest week were lower than normal because of the August Bank Holiday.

The number of deaths in private homes remained above the five-year average, but there were fewer deaths than previous years in hospitals, care homes and other communal establishments.

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15 September 2020

UK labour market

Our latest figures on the UK labour market have now been published.

Early indicators for August 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls was down around 695,000 compared with March 2020.

Figures for May to July 2020 show an increase in the unemployment rate; despite this increase and an increase in the number of redundancies, the employment rate was up and the economic inactivity rate has fallen.

Redundancies (the number of people who were made redundant or who took voluntary redundancy in the three months before the Labour Force Survey (LFS) interviews) increased by 58,000 on the year and 48,000 on the quarter to 156,000. While this is the highest level since September to November 2012, the level remained well below that seen during the 2008 downturn.

Over the quarter, there has been a large decrease in the number of young people (those aged 16 to 24 years) in employment while unemployment for young people has increased.

The number of people who are estimated to have been temporarily away from work (including furloughed workers) has fallen, but it was still more than 5 million in July 2020.

Total hours worked was still low but showed some signs of recovery in the three months to July 2020. Over the year, average actual weekly hours fell by 5.8 hours to 26.3 hours in the three months to July 2020. The accommodation and food service activities sector saw the biggest annual fall in average actual weekly hours, down by 15.4 hours to 13.5 hours per week.

Vacancies continued to show increases in the latest period, driven by the smaller businesses, some of which are reporting taking on additional staff to meet coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.

The Claimant Count, an Experimental Statistic, increased in August 2020, reaching 2.7 million. This includes both those who are working with low income or hours and those who are not working.

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11 September 2020

COVID-19 Infection Survey

The number of younger people in England who have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased in recent weeks.

This has been among people aged 17 to 24 and 25 to 34 years, while positive tests for COVID-19 among those aged 50 years and over appear to be stable or declining.

There is higher uncertainty in estimates for some age groups, which is indicated by larger credible intervals.

COVID-19 infection rates have increased most in younger age groups

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, England, daily, by age group since 23 July 2020

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Notes:
  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.
  2. These statistics refer to infections reported in the community, by which we mean private households. These figures exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.
  3. The modelled estimates are presented at the reference value for a region which is the East Midlands. This does not affect the overall trend over time, but estimated probabilities for other regions would vary in level.

Among the wider population of England, the most recent estimates suggest that the number of COVID-19 infections in England has increased. An estimated 39,700 people within the community population in England had COVID-19 from 30 August to 5 September 2020. This equates to around 1 in 1,400 individuals.

During the same period, there were an estimated 0.58 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people per day in the community population in England, equating to around 3,200 new cases per day.

These figures do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

Our estimates show that 1,200 people in Wales had COVID-19, which is around 1 in 2,600 people.

Read our Coronavirus infection survey bulletin for more information.

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11 September 2020

GDP, July 2020

Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6% in July 2020 as lockdown measures continued to ease. This follows growth of 8.7% in June and 2.4% in May and a record fall of 20.0% in April 2020. Today’s GDP monthly estimate release captures the direct effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government measures taken to reduce transmission of the virus.

July 2020 GDP is now 18.6% higher than its April 2020 low. However, it remains 11.7% below the levels seen in February 2020, before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt.

GDP fell by 7.6% in the three months to July 2020, with declines across all main sectors of the economy. This follows the two consecutive falls in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 and Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity.

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11 September 2020

Services, production and construction

There was widespread growth in services, production and construction during July 2020. However, the Index of Services, Index of Production and Construction output all remained well below their February 2020 levels.

A detailed analysis of the impact on the output of businesses has been published in Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: July 2020.

The output of service industries remained 12.6% below the level of February 2020, growing by 6.1% in the latest month. In particular, travel- and holiday-related industries were still considerably lower than February 2020, as were those industries still impacted by social distancing, such as hotels and accommodation and food and beverage services.

All sub-sectors of services showed an increase in growth in July 2020; however, output did not recover to pre-COVID levels in February 2020

Monthly output (March, April, May, June and July 2020) as a proportion of February 2020, February 2020 output = 100%

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Notes:
  1. Chart shows the March, April, May, June and July output as a proportion of February 2020 where February output equals 100%
  2. Public Administration and Defence output saw marginal positive growth across March, April, May, June and July 2020 so output to February 2020 is over 100%

The production industries remained 7.0% below their February 2020 level, even after growth of 5.2% in the latest month, with manufacturing declining by 8.7% since February 2020 and growing by 6.3% since May 2020.

All sub-sectors of manufacturing showed an increase in growth in July 2020; however, output had still not recovered to pre-COVID levels in February 2020

Monthly output (March, April, May, June and July 2020) as a proportion of February 2020, February 2020 output = 100%

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Notes:
  1. Chart shows the March, April, May, June and July output as a proportion of February 2020 where February output equals 100%
  2. The volatile Manufacture of Basic Pharmaceuticals industry had higher output in April, May and June 2020 than February 2020, so the proportion is over 100%.

Construction output grew by 17.6% in July 2020, following the record monthly growth of 23.5% in June 2020. The growth in July 2020 is now the third consecutive month of growth since the record monthly decline of 40.2% in April 2020.

Total construction output in July 2020 is 11.6% lower when compared with February 2020. While there has been continued increase in activity across the sector, health and safety measures – such as social distancing – where businesses are working on premises and sites, have meant that the capacity and level of output are not at the same level of work prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

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11 September 2020

UK trade

Falls in imports and exports in the three months to July 2020 are detailed in today’s UK trade publication. Underlying imports fell by £8.5 billion in this period, while exports decreased by £2.7 billion. This has resulted in an increase in the total trade surplus, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, to £6.4 billion.

The largest falls in both imports and exports of goods in the three months to July 2020 were seen in machinery and transport equipment, and fuels, which can be linked to the sharp drop in demand for road vehicles and oil due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

Road vehicle exports to non-EU countries fell £1.0 billion in the three months to July 2020, largely due to falling United States (US) demand. This could be due to the US having the highest number of COVID-19 cases globally.

Road vehicle imports fell £1.1 billion in the three months to July, following a £2.6 billion fall in imports in April 2020 as dealerships were closed due to lockdown measures. In June and July 2020, imports increased on a monthly basis as dealerships re-opened across the UK. However, new car registrations were still down by 41% in July, on a year to date basis.

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10 September 2020

Returning to work, household finances and anxiety

Our latest bulletin on personal and economic wellbeing in Great Britain during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic explores how different people fared as lockdown restrictions eased, using results from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN). OPN has been collecting data on the impact of COVID-19 on day-to-day life in Great Britain since 20 March 2020.

During June and early July 2020, more people returned to work, particularly those in the £10,000 to £20,000 income bracket. However, since mid-July, when three out of four employed people were back in work, this trend levelled off – though may be due to some people taking time off in the summer. Despite the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, the number of people who thought that it would take more than a year for things to return to normal, if at all, started to increase again during July.

The bulletin also looks at how people fared financially. Around one in four people in employment reported reduced household income at the end of May, which declined to one in six and then stayed flat from mid-July.

At the end of July, more people expected it to take more than a year or never for life to return to normal, compared with mid-June

Share of the population on when they think their own life will return to normal, Great Britain, 27 March to 26 July 2020

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While improvements in finances stalled, financial resilience worsened throughout July, with one-third of the population reporting they were not able to find money for an unexpected but necessary expense by the end of the month. Parents and renters fared worse in this regard with around half of them unable to cover such an expense by the end of July, possibly because both groups were more likely to report reduced hours and not being able to work from home.

With regards to personal well-being, survey respondents were asked questions such as “overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?” The findings showed that there was a general increase in anxiety into July across the nation, particularly for those who are disabled, feel unsafe to go outside, or suffer with health conditions.

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8 September 2020

Business expectations compared with reality

Nearly half of businesses were overly optimistic about their turnover between 1 June and 23 August 2020, according to our analysis.

Comparing business expectations of their turnover with subsequent results – using responses to Waves 6 to 11 of the fortnightly Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) – we found that 48% of businesses reported turnover below their previous expectations. In contrast, just 10% of businesses outperformed their expectations.

Business turnover has been more likely to underperform than overperform, compared with expectations

A combination of Wave 6 to Wave 11 responses, count of responding businesses currently trading, broken down by previous expectations and actual responses, UK, 1 June to 23 August 2020

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Businesses are clearly finding it difficult to predict outcomes during the coronavirus pandemic – one in three (33%) firms in our sample were consistently inaccurate with their turnover expectations, compared with one in six (16%) that were always correct.

By industry, businesses in accommodation and food service activities were most likely to underperform compared with expectations.

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8 September 2020

Mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions involving UK companies: April to June 2020 contains estimates for the value and number of transactions that result in a change of ultimate control of the target company.

During Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, the estimates for the value of outward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving UK companies increased slightly, while both inward and domestic M&A saw notable decreases when compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020.

As these statistics only measure completed transactions, they cannot provide evidence to explain a reduction in the number of transactions. However, the timing does follow the introduction of the restriction of movement in the UK, which began on 23 March 2020 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

There were expectations from external commentators that pandemic-related factors could cause delays to mergers and acquisitions transactions. A Bank of England report stated that there had been “a sharp fall in transactional business, such as mergers and acquisitions”. Bureau van Dijk reported a worldwide reduction in the number of announced deals in Quarter 1 2020, continuing into April 2020, and that “while some have pressed the pause button on planned transactions, others have opted to call off intended combinations altogether”.

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4 September 2020

Return to school

More than half of parents of school-age children in England and Wales are worried about their children’s return to school next term.

Adults with dependent children were asked a series of questions about the oldest school age child in their household returning to school or college and 52% said they were very worried or somewhat worried about it.

This did not dissuade most parents with school age children from wanting their children to go back to school. Almost all (97%) in England and Wales said it was very likely or fairly likely that the oldest school age child in their household would return to school or college when school reopens to them in the new term.

The main concern (58%) reported by adults with children of school age in the next term is that they are worried about the oldest age child in their household catching COVID-19 at school or college.

Nearly half (46%) of parents said the oldest child in their household has mixed feelings about returning to school or college, however, an additional 36% said they were looking forward to returning to school or college.

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User requested data

We have been responding to data requests from the public, media and government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Responses are published in our list of user requested data.

Our subnational data page offers advice to anyone doing their own analysis on the impact of the coronavirus. It contains useful links to geographic boundaries and datasets such as population by local area.

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Weekly summary

We have summarised ONS data and analysis related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a slide pack. This slide pack is updated weekly, with the latest version (PDF, 875 KB) covering data published between 7 and 11 September 2020.

This is a new product that we are continuing to develop, please send any feedback on the slides to COVID19Analysis@ons.gov.uk.

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Related

  • Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional

    Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available.

  • Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

    Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 9 to 13 September 2020 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

  • Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society

    Early experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society. These faster indicators are created using rapid response surveys, novel data sources and experimental methods.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey pilot

    Results include estimates for England and initial results for Wales. This survey is carried out in partnership with IQVIA, Oxford University and UK Biocentre.

  • Coronavirus and the economic impacts on the UK

    The indicators and analysis presented in this bulletin are based on responses from the voluntary fortnightly business survey, which captures businesses’ responses on how their turnover, workforce prices, trade and business resilience have been affected. These data relate to the period 10 August 2020 to 23 August 2020.