- An estimated 336,500 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 2 and 8 October 2020 (0.62% of the community population). Analysis | Data
- The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 9 October 2020 (Week 41) was 438 (4.4% of all deaths in that week). Analysis | Data
- Over a third of adults (33%) reported high anxiety levels, meaning that they selected a score of six out of 10 or above; this figure rose to 40% among adults with a health condition. Analysis | Data
- The percentage of businesses that had been trading for more than the previous two weeks was 84% between 5 and 18 October 2020 (a further 2% had restarted in the last two weeks, 11% remained temporarily closed). Analysis | Data
- Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.1% in August 2020 but is 9.2% lower than the February 2020 level. Analysis | Data
- The UK unemployment rate for the three months to August 2020 was 4.5%; this is 0.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.4 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.
On this page
- Risk of insolvency for businesses
- Average house prices continued to rise in August 2020
- Impact of Eat Out to Help Out on prices
- Public sector borrowing
- Deaths involving COVID-19
- Deaths in private homes
- COVID-19 Infection Survey
- Ethnic background contrasts in deaths involving COVID-19
- Local lockdowns affect feelings of freedom and independence
- No increase in business closures yet
- UK labour market
- Productivity measure sees largest fall since 2009
- User requested data
- Weekly summary (slide pack)
This page was last updated at 09:30 on 22 October 2020.
22 October 2020
Risk of insolvency for businesses
Across all industries 71% of UK businesses were at no or low risk of insolvency, according to the latest Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS).
In the week ending 18 October 2020, of all businesses in the accommodation and food services industries, 17% reported being at a severe risk of insolvency.
Following the accommodation and food services industry, the administrative and support service activities industry has the next highest percentage of businesses at severe risk of insolvency at 9%. Meanwhile, the real estate activities industry had the highest percentage of businesses at no risk of insolvency at 70%.
The percentage of adults who travelled to a place of work decreased by five percentage points to 60% according to the latest Opinion and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).
Conversely, the proportion of adults who worked from home exclusively increased to 25%, the highest since the start of August.
21 October 2020
Average house prices continued to rise in July 2020
The UK’s average house prices increased by 2.5%, to £239,000, over the year to August 2020, up from 2.1% in July 2020; this is £6,000 higher than last year.
Average house prices increased by 2.8% in England, 2.7% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland over the year to August 2020. In Northern Ireland, average house prices increased by 3.0% over the year to Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020.
During July 2020, changes were made to Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Transaction Tax and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. The UK House Price Index (HPI) is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take six to eight weeks to reach completion. Therefore, the price data feeding into the August 2020 UK HPI will mainly reflect those agreements that occurred before the tax changes took place.
21 October 2020
Impact of Eat Out to Help Out on prices
Last month’s prices release revealed that the 12-month inflation rate – measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) – had fallen to 0.5% in August 2020, the lowest since December 2015.
This was mostly driven by lower prices in restaurants and cafés, as a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and the temporary reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 20% to 5% for firms in the hospitality sector.
In the absence of Eat Out to Help Out and the VAT reduction, our analysis estimates that the inflation rate would have been approximately 0.9% in August, compared with the actual rate of 0.5%. Most of this difference comes from Eat Out to Help Out.
Under the scheme, participating restaurants could offer a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages consumed on the premises from Monday to Wednesday, up to the value of £10 per person, with the remaining 50% paid by the government.
UK restaurants made claims for around 100 million covers during August, to the value of £522 million. By region, the average discount per meal ranged from £5.17 in the South West to £6.36 in London.
Comparing card transaction data from the fintech Revolut for August with the rest of and before the lockdown, we can see how consumer behaviour responded to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. There are normally fewer transactions at the beginning of the week, rising gradually from Monday to Thursday, and considerably more transactions on Friday and Saturday.
The average for August, when Eat Out to Help Out was running, showed a flattening of this trend with a higher than usual proportion of transactions earlier in the week (Monday to Wednesday) and a lower proportion than usual at the weekend. This suggests that the discount offered earlier in the week may have incentivised some people to eat out on days when they otherwise would not have.
The proportion being spent on Monday to Wednesday was also higher during August than at other periods, despite a 50% discount being in effect. This may partly reflect a change in the type of purchases being made at this time with a shift towards sit-down meals.
For the latest inflation data, read our bulletin for September 2020.
21 October 2020
Public sector borrowing
Today’s public sector finance figures reflect the ongoing unprecedented impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and the government’s support for individuals and businesses.
UK borrowing was £36.1 billion in September 2020, nearly five times the £7.7 billion borrowed in September 2019 but broadly in line with the £33.6 billion market expectation.
Central government tax receipts were £37.7 billion in September 2020 (on a national accounts basis), £6.0 billion less than in September 2019, with large falls in Value Added Tax (VAT), business rates and Corporation Tax receipts.
Central government bodies spent £77.8 billion in September 2020 on day-to-day activities (current expenditure), £18.1 billion more than in September 2019, including nearly £5.9 billion on its job furlough schemes.
Provisional estimates indicate borrowing in the first six months of the financial year-to-September 2020 have reached £208.5 billion, more than three times the £54.5 billion borrowed in the whole of 2019 to 2020.
The need for the extra funding required to support the government’s coronavirus relief schemes combined with a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) has helped push debt at the end of September 2020 to 103.5% of GDP, the highest debt ratio since the financial year ending March 1960.
Today’s data highlight the emerging fiscal impact of the coronavirus pandemic but will be prone to material future revisions, and it will take many months before the true scale of the shock becomes clear.
20 October 2020
Deaths involving COVID-19
There were 438 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales in the week ending 9 October 2020, the highest weekly figure since the week ending 3 July 2020.
However, this remains far below numbers seen earlier in the pandemic, and accounts for just 4.4% of all deaths in the latest week.
By region, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths was reported in the North West (153 deaths), followed by the North East (60) and Yorkshire and the Humber (52).
The total number of deaths across England and Wales in the week ending 9 October 2020 was 9,954 (above the five-year average for the eighth time in the past nine weeks).
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 53,640 COVID-19 deaths registered in England and Wales, up to 9 October 2020 (29,568 men and 24,072 women).
The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (47,905 out of 53,640).
Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on the 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.
19 October 2020
Deaths in private homes
We have provided detailed analysis of deaths that occurred in private homes in England and Wales during the pandemic.
There were 108,842 deaths in private homes in England registered from 28 December 2019 to 11 September 2020, and 7,440 deaths in private homes in Wales in the same period.
This was 25,472 deaths more than the five-year average in England and 1,624 deaths more than the five-year average in Wales.
The number of deaths in private homes registered in England each week in 2020 was above the five-year average, with the exception of the week ending 3 January. In Wales, the number of deaths in private homes has remained above the five-year average since the week ending 20 March, with the exception of the week ending 4 September.
Males accounted for a higher percentage of excess deaths in private homes than females. People aged 70 to 89 years contributed most to the excess deaths in private homes, accounting for 58.5% of excess deaths in England and 63.6% in Wales.
Deaths in private homes for males from ischaemic heart diseases increased by 25.9% in England and 22.7% in Wales compared with the five-year average. Deaths in private homes for females from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased by 75.0% in England and 92.2% in Wales compared with the five-year average.
In England, between the week ending 20 March 2020 and the week ending 11 September 2020, 39.6% of all deaths occurred in hospitals, followed by private homes (27.7%) and care homes (25.9%). However, since the peak in deaths, trends have differed between places of death.
Almost 60% of excess deaths in private homes in England were of people aged 70 to 89 years
Number of deaths in private homes by sex and age, England, registered 14 March 2020 to 11 September 2020
- Figures exclude deaths of non-residents.
- Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
- Figures for 2020 are provisional.
- The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).
- “Deaths involving COVID-19” refers to deaths that had COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause of death or not.
16 October 2020
COVID-19 Infection Survey
The estimated number of people testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to increase rapidly in recent weeks.
An estimated 336,500 people within the community population in England had COVID-19 during the most recent week, from 2 to 8 October 2020, equating to around 1 in 160 people, or 0.62% of the population.
Between 2 and 8 October 2020, we estimate there were 5.11 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people per day in the community population in England, equating to around 27, 900 new cases per day.
These figures do not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.
The most recent modelled estimate shows the number of infections in England has continued to increase rapidly in recent weeks
Estimated percentage of the population in England testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs based on modelled estimates from 28 August 2020
These results are provisional and subject to revision.
All estimates are subject to uncertainty, given that a sample is only part of the wider population. The model used to provide these estimates is a Bayesian model: these provide 95% credible intervals. A credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis. 95% credible intervals are calculated so that there is a 95% probability of the true value lying in the interval.
Official reported estimates are plotted at a reference point believed to be most representative of the given week. Details of which day was used for each week can be found in the dataset that accompanies this bulletin.
Modelled estimates include all swab results that are available at the time the official estimates are produced. Additional swab tests that become available after this are included in subsequent models, meaning that modelled estimates can change slightly as additional data is included.
The current infection rates continue to be highest among secondary-school-aged children and 17 to 24-year-olds. There are now signs of growth among 25 to 69-year-olds, but not in those aged 70 or older.
There is also evidence of higher infection rates in the North East, North West, and Yorkshire and The Humber, which have all seen steep increases in recent weeks.
We estimate that 7,900 people in Wales had COVID-19 during the same period, which is around 1 in 390 people. The estimate shows there is some evidence that positivity rates may now have levelled off, although uncertainty is high.
In Northern Ireland, during the most recent two weeks 25 September to 8 October, we estimate that 0.41% had COVID-19, which is around 1 in 250 people.
Read our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin for more information.
16 October 2020
Ethnic background contrasts in deaths involving COVID-19
A substantial proportion of the differences in COVID-19 mortality for people of ethnic minority backgrounds can be explained by demographic, geographical and socioeconomic factors, modelling has found.
After adjustments for those factors, males in all ethnic minority groups other than Chinese retained a higher rate of COVID-19 mortality; for females, all other than Bangladeshi, Chinese and Mixed ethnic groups retained a raised rate of COVID-19 mortality following adjustments.
Most minority ethnicities have higher COVID-19 mortality rate
Rate of death compared to White ethnicities, adjusted by various possible factors in England and Wales, to 28 July
In England and Wales, there were notable increased rates of death involving COVID-19 for people of Black African, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic background compared to the White ethnic group.
The latest research considers whether higher risk health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease could account for ethnic mortality differences.
Use of hospital records showed that although some health conditions were more common in certain ethnic groups, these differences did not have a significant effect in explaining ethnic group differences.
Researchers took account of age, where people live in England, how densely populated that area is and other socio-economic characteristics, such as multi-generational households or occupational exposure.
Adding health conditions to the model, the rate of death involving Covid-19 for Black African males is still 2.5 times higher than for those of White background, and 2.1 times higher for Black African females.
16 October 2020
Local lockdowns affect feelings of freedom and independence
Respondents were asked in which ways the coronavirus is affecting their life, 67% of adults in local lockdown areas reported a lack of freedom and independence as their main concern, compared to 56% of those who are not currently in lockdown.
Over a third of adults (33%) reported high anxiety levels, meaning that they selected a score of six out of 10 or above. This figure rose to 40% among adults with a health condition.
15 October 2020
No increase in business closures yet
There was no increase in business closures in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020, according to the latest data from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).
While a higher number of closures might have been expected because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, business deaths in Quarter 3 were slightly lower than in the same period in 2019 and similar to the number of closures in Quarter 3 of the past three years taken together.
Notable lags in the removal of a business from the IDBR, because of economic, legal and statistical processes, may explain why business closures have not risen significantly in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) or Quarter 3. Increased business closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may yet be reflected in data in subsequent quarters.
In contrast, the number of business creations in the UK in Quarter 3 2020 was slightly higher than in Quarter 3 2019, following a small fall in Quarter 2 2020. This is somewhat contrary to expectations that business creation would be significantly lower as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
There is typically a shorter lag in adding businesses to the IDBR after the effective creation of the business than there is for removing businesses from the IDBR after their effective closure. As such, the rebound in Quarter 3 2020 is likely to reflect a genuine trend for increased business creation.
The types of businesses created during Quarter 3 2020 were also notably different to the types of businesses created in Quarter 3 in previous years. Broadly speaking, businesses created in this period were smaller than usual (based on both employment and turnover), with businesses created in Quarter 3 having fewer employees on average than in any other quarter in the past four years.
Industries less affected by the pandemic, including those that offer greater opportunities for homeworking such as professional and administrative services industries, made up a larger share of business births than usual in Quarter 3.
13 October 2020
UK labour market
Our latest figures on the UK labour market have now been published.
Early estimates for September 2020 suggest that there is little change in the number of payroll employees in the UK, with an increase of 20,000 compared with August 2020. Since March 2020, the number of payroll employees has fallen by 673,000; however, the larger falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Data from our Labour Force Survey (LFS) show the employment rate has been decreasing since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while the unemployment rate and the level of redundancies has been increasing in recent periods. Total hours worked, while still low, show signs of recovering and there are fewer people temporary away from work.
Redundancies increased by 113,000 on the year, and a record 114,000 on the quarter, to 227,000. The annual increase was the largest since April to June 2009, with the number of redundancies reaching its highest level since May to July 2009.
After a record low of 343,000 vacancies in April to June 2020, there was an increase to 488,000 vacancies in July to September 2020. The level of vacancies is still 40.5% lower than a year ago.
Annual growth in employee pay strengthened in August 2020 as employees continued to return to work from furlough; this followed strong falls in the months since April when growth was affected by lower pay for furloughed employees and reduced bonuses.
The Claimant Count, an Experimental Statistic, has increased by 120.3% since March 2020. This includes both those who are working with low income or hours and those who are not working.
13 October 2020
Productivity measure sees largest fall since 2009
Labour productivity, as measured by output per hour, fell by 1.8% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020. This is the largest fall since Quarter 2 2009. This was driven by a measure of output, gross value added (GVA), falling faster than hours worked. Compared with the previous quarter, GVA fell by 21.5%, while hours worked fell by 20%.
Productivity as measured by output per worker fell by 19% in Quarter 2 compared with the previous quarter.
Output per hour and output per worker are usually more closely aligned, but the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which allows companies to keep staff employed while working zero hours, has resulted in a large disparity between the two measures, as many furloughed workers are still employed but not producing any output.
Further estimates of the effect of the furlough scheme on labour productivity have been explored in our latest labour productivity bulletin.
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.