Headline figures

  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 31 July 2020 (Week 31) was 193 (2.2% of all deaths in that week). Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of adults in Great Britain worried about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their life was 70% between 29 July and 2 August 2020. Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of businesses that had been trading for more than the previous two weeks was 86% between 13 and 26 July 2020 (a further 6% had restarted in the last two weeks, 7% remained temporarily closed). Analysis | Data
  • An estimated 28,300 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 27 July and 2 August 2020 (0.05% of the community population). Analysis | Data
  • Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 8.7% in June 2020 (but remained 17.2% below its February 2020 level). Analysis | Data
  • The average number of actual hours worked per week fell by a record 5.6 hours on the quarter to a record low of 25.8 hours in April to June 2020. Analysis | Data
  • The volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% in June 2020 compared with the previous month (non-food and fuel stores continue their recovery from the sharp falls experienced since the start of the pandemic). 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 07:00 on 12 August 2020.


12 August 2020

GDP, April to June 2020

UK gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 20.4% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity through most of the quarter. 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.

GDP saw its second consecutive quarterly decline in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

UK GDP growth, Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2005 until Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

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The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

All the headline sectors provided a negative contribution to GDP growth in the three months to June 2020. The services sector fell by 19.9%, production by 16.9% and construction by 35.0%. GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2020 provides further detail.

The monthly profile shows that monthly GDP grew by 8.7% in June 2020, as lockdown measured eased, following growth of 2.4% in May 2020. Despite this, the level of output did not fully recover from the record falls seen across March and April 2020, and it has reduced by 17.2% compared with February 2020, before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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12 August 2020

Services, production and construction

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

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: June 2020.

The output of service industries remained 17.6% below the level of February 2020, growing by 7.7% in the latest month. The easing of lockdown measures, most notably in England, had the most positive impact in June 2020, with nearly half of growth from the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles sector.

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

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

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The production industries remained 11.6% below their February 2020 level, even after growth of 9.3% in the latest month, with manufacturing declining by 14.2% since February 2020 and growing by 11.0% since May 2020.

Most subsectors of manufacturing showed an increase in growth in June 2020; however, output did not recover to the pre-lockdown levels of February 2020

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

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Construction output grew by a record 23.5% in June 2020, substantially higher than the previous monthly growth of 7.6% in May 2020. Despite this strong monthly growth, the construction industry remained 24.8% below the February 2020 level. While there has been a recommencement of work, social distancing measures meant where businesses were working on premises and sites, the capacity and level of output were not at the same levels of work experienced prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Total construction new orders decreased by a record 51.1% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020. This is the lowest level of new orders since quarterly records began in 1964. New orders measure the value of contracts that have been awarded for future work.

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12 August 2020

Labour productivity sees largest fall since records began

The first flash estimate of labour productivity covering a period in which lockdown measures to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) were in place throughout has shown the steepest quarter-on-quarter drop in productivity since estimates began.

Labour productivity, as measured by output per hour, dropped by 2.5% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 compared with the previous quarter.

Hospitality industry sees biggest productivity drop

For the first time, the latest figures also provide an experimental flash estimate of productivity by industry.

By far the most significant fall in productivity was in the hospitality industry. Output per hour in this industry decreased by 74.7%. This is because output (or production) over the period fell faster than the number of hours worked.

Conversely, there were some industries where productivity increased. The water supply industry saw an increase in output per hour of 14%, the largest recorded increase for this industry. Manufacturing of computers and electronics was close behind, with a 9.9% increase in output per hour. While both the output and number of hours worked in these industries dropped in Quarter 2 2020, because output fell less than hours worked, the result was an overall increase in output per hour.

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12 August 2020

UK trade

Falls in imports and exports in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 are detailed in today’s UK trade publication. This includes falls in both trade in goods and trade in services.

Most of the UK’s top trading partners have been significantly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the data in this release suggest evidence of coronavirus-related impacts on UK trade.

Imports fell by £35.2 billion to £122.3 billion, while exports fell by £26.7 billion to £130.9 billion. This has resulted in an increase in the total trade surplus, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, to £8.6 billion in Quarter 2 2020. This is the largest underlying total trade surplus on a three-month basis since records began in 1998.

The largest falls in both imports and exports of goods in Quarter 2 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 owing to coronavirus-related restrictions.

The monthly trade data show early signs of recovery, with an increase in June 2020 for both imports and exports on May 2020. This follows relatively small movements in May, following large falls of both in April.

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11 August 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19

Up to 31 July 2020, there were 51,710 deaths registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) (28,455 men and 23,255 women).

The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (46,199 out of 51,710).

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 31 July 2020 (Week 31) was 8,946, below the five-year average for the seventh week in a row.

Private homes remained the only setting to record any excess deaths (deaths above the five-year average). Care homes, hospitals and other communal establishments recorded fewer deaths than the average for this time of year.

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11 August 2020

UK labour market

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

Early indicators for July 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down around 730,000 compared with March 2020. Flows analysis suggests that the falls in May, June and July were mainly because of fewer people moving into payrolled employment.

Survey data show employment is weakening, with numbers of self-employed and part-time workers seeing reductions. Unemployment is largely unchanged because of increases in economic inactivity, with people out of work but not currently looking for work.

There are still a large number of people temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers – approximately 7.5 million in June 2020, with over 3 million of these being away for three months or more. There were also around 300,000 people away from work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and receiving no pay in June 2020.

Hours worked has continued to fall reaching record lows both on the year and on the quarter. The average number of actual hours worked per week fell by a record 5.6 hours on the quarter to a record low of 25.8 hours in April to June 2020.

Pay fell for all measures in the three months to June 2020. Nominal regular pay growth for April to June 2020 is negative for the first time since records began in 2001, at negative 0.2%.

For May to July 2020, there were an estimated 370,000 vacancies in the UK, which is 10% higher than the record low in April to June 2020. Some smaller businesses are reporting taking on additional staff to meet coronavirus guidelines. Estimated vacancies for May to July 2020 are 453,000 fewer than for May to July 2019.

The Claimant Count, an Experimental Statistic, increased in July 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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7 August 2020

Impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on mortality and morbidity in England

Today, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) released a paper estimating the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on England’s mortality and morbidity. This was a collaboration between the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) and the Home Office and was discussed by SAGE on 23 July 2020.

The paper presents a collection of estimates of the COVID-19 virus’ direct and indirect effects on the health of the population, including estimates of the quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost, through deaths and also for those who do not die but may experience health impacts.

The research estimates that approximately 65,000 excess deaths could take place from contracting COVID-19 between March 2020 and March 2021. It is also estimated that social distancing measures could reduce mortality in England, accounting for 7,000 fewer deaths than expected. However, the negative health impacts of social distancing amount to a loss of 88,000 QALYs up to March 2021, so mortality improves over this period, but health worsens.

Socio-economic effects are estimated to have the greatest impact on quality of life of all categories investigated, over the short- and long-term combined. From March 2020 to more than five years from now, the impacts of lockdown and a resulting recession are estimated to reduce England’s health by over 970,000 QALYs. The health impacts of contracting COVID-19 are still unclear in the long -term, but between March 2020 and March 2021, these represent 570,000 lost QALYs.

While these negative health impacts of lockdown exceed the impacts of COVID-19 directly, they are much smaller than the negative impacts estimated for a scenario in which these measures are not in place. Without these mitigations, the impact of direct COVID-19 deaths alone on both mortality and morbidity would be much higher: an estimated 439,000 excess deaths due to COVID-19, and 3,000,000 QALYs lost.

We have published a fuller statement with more detail on the contents of the paper today on our website. The whole paper can be found in SAGE’s Meeting 48, 23 July meeting papers.

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7 August 2020

COVID-19 Infection Survey

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

During the period 27 July to 2 August 2020, there were around 3,700 new cases per day (0.68 new COVID-19 infections per 10, 000 people) in the community population.

During the most recent week of our infection survey (taken from its midpoint on 30 July), an estimated 28,300 people in England had the coronavirus, which equated to 1 in 1,900 people.

While the percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19 has decreased since the start of the study (26 April 2020), modelling suggests it has been rising slightly since the lowest recorded estimate, which was in June. There is now evidence to suggest that this trend may be levelling off.

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In Wales, there were around 1,400 people who had the coronavirus, which equates to around 1 in 2,200 people.

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7 August 2020

Face coverings

Almost all adults in Great Britain are wearing face coverings when they leave their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In the period 29 July to 2 August 2020, 96% used a cover for their nose and mouth – an increase from 84% last week and 71% the week before.

Of those who had been shopping this week, almost all (95%) said they had worn a face covering.

At the time of the survey it was mandatory to wear face coverings while shopping in Scotland and England. In Scotland, 97% had worn face coverings when shopping in the last seven days, 96% of adults had done so in England, and 70% in Wales (where it is not mandatory to wear them).

People were asked this week to what extent they supported or opposed the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets, with more than 6 in 10 adults (62%) reporting that they strongly supported the mandatory wearing of face coverings in these places.

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6 August 2020

Company incorporations and voluntary dissolutions, online job adverts

In this week’s latest indicators for the UK economy and society we present new data on company incorporations and voluntary dissolutions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which have been developed in collaboration with Companies House.

In April 2020, the average number of newly incorporated companies per working day was lower than usual, however, this was above usual levels in June and July. These fluctuations coincide with government-instigated lockdown measures. Meanwhile, applications for voluntary company dissolutions per working day were lower than usual between April and July.

For the first time we have been able to include regional estimates of the number of online job adverts, using data provided by Adzuna. These figures are available both on a UK country level and on a NUTS1 region level. The number of jobs adverts available gives insight to the demand for labour. Between 24 and 31 July 2020, and out of the NUTS1 regions and countries, online Adzuna job adverts in Northern Ireland and London were the closest to their 2019 average, at 66% and 65% respectively.

The latest faster indicators also show that the proportion of adults wearing face coverings when leaving the home increased to 96%, footfall in UK retail parks continues to increase and prices of food items within the high-demand products (HDPs) category fell by 0.9%.

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6 August 2020

Business impact of coronavirus survey: qualitative responses

Analysis of free text responses to the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey (BICS) shows the frequency of respondents dealing with the closure of their own or a supplying business has reduced over time, with differences between industries.

The new analysis summarises the most commonly cited words in businesses’ responses and establishes how these have changed in frequency over time.

When asked to add any extra information about how business turnover had been affected by the pandemic, the most common word used was “closed”, reflecting the impacts of respondent businesses, their suppliers, or businesses they supply closing.

By Wave 9, the frequency in which the word “closed” appeared was significantly lower than Wave 2.

At an industry level, the accommodation and food service activities sector reported the highest percentage of the word “closed” in Wave 2 in respect to all those that answered the question in this industry, at 68%, compared with 23% in Wave 9. In Wave 9, the sector with the highest frequency of comments including the word “closed” in some way was the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, at 38%.

The percentage of businesses reporting comments on closures in earlier waves will reflect the impact of the UK lockdown imposed on the 23 March 2020, and the introduction of easing of lockdown restrictions from 23 June 2020 will likely explain the reduction in frequency of the word “closed” in later waves.

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6 August 2020

Business births and deaths to June 2020

Business closures do not yet appear to have increased as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the latest Experimental Statistics about business creation and closures. This is probably because of the time it takes for a business to close, delays in the reporting process, and government support for businesses.

The number of businesses removed from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) (business closures) in the UK in Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2020 was slightly lower than the average number of businesses removed in the past three years. Although it might be expected that more businesses would close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there are notable lags in the removal of a business from the IDBR, because of economic, legal and statistical processes. As such, increased business closures from the coronavirus pandemic may not yet be visible in these statistics, and may be reflected in data in subsequent quarters.

Additionally, government support to businesses and easements at Companies House (such as an extended period to file their accounts) may have prevented or postponed some business closures.

The number of business creations in the UK in Quarter 2 2020 was also slightly lower than in Quarter 2 2019. This is broadly in line with expectations for a fall in business creation resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, although the decline is not that pronounced.

Business creations also slowed during the economic downturn of 2008 to 2009, and may reflect increased uncertainty, a lack of good market opportunities, or other factors that make starting a business unattractive at present.

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5 August 2020

Shielding behaviours changing with updated guidance

The guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people has changed in recent weeks. This is reflected in the responses to our Shielding Behavioural Survey.

Our latest survey was carried out between 9 and 16 July. It shows more CEV people are leaving their home and receiving visitors at their home.

Almost half (48%) of CEV people report not leaving their home at all or only leaving for exercise. This is lower than the 60% of people who said the same in the previous survey between 24 and 30 June.

The percentage of CEV people receiving no visitors at their home (other than for support for personal care) has decreased in each of the past three surveys. Between 28 May and 3 June, 87% of CEV people told us they had not received visitors at their home. This fell to 83% in the next survey (9 to 18 June), then 77% in the following one (24 to 30 June).

On 6 July, guidance for CEV people shielding changed to include forming a support bubble with another household. In our latest survey, 65% of CEV people reported receiving no visitors to their home (other than support for personal care).

Fifteen percent of CEV people live with someone under the age of 16 years. A fifth of those said living with children is impacting their ability to shield.

CEV shielding workers

Over a quarter (28%) of CEV people who were advised to shield were in employment before lockdown. Of that 28% of CEV people:

  • 11% continued to work outside their home

  • 37% now work from home

  • the remaining 52% were either furloughed, joined the self-employed income support scheme or stopped working

An estimated 38,000 (6%) CEV people who worked before lockdown said they would not return to work in the next four months. A fifth (21%) of CEV workers said they would continue to work from home for the next four months. That’s down from the 37% who said they are working at home now.

Almost one in four (23%) CEV workers said they didn’t know what their plans were for the coming four months.

There is some variation in how comfortable CEV people are with returning to work outside their homes.

More than two thirds (68%) of CEV workers said they were comfortable (44%) or completely comfortable (24%) with returning to work outside their home. However, their comfort level was dependent on protective measures being in place.

In comparison, 32% of CEV workers said they are not comfortable with returning to work outside their home.

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30 July 2020

European comparison of excess mortality

England saw the second-highest national peak of excess mortality during 2020 in the week ending 17 April, compared with 21 European countries; only Spain saw a higher peak (during week ending 27 March).

While England did not have the highest peak mortality, it did have the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole (week ending 21 February to week ending 12 June 2020).

Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions, January to June 2020, uses weekly all-cause death registration data published by Eurostat. Excess mortality is measured using relative age-standardised mortality rates.

In the UK, every region experienced excess mortality during the highest weeks of excess mortality in April 2020, while other Western European countries experienced more localised excess mortality during their peak weeks of excess mortality.

At the regional level, the highest rates of excess mortality were in regions in Central Spain and Northern Italy. Bergamo (Northern Italy) had the highest peak excess mortality (positive 847.7%, week ending 20 March), compared with the highest in the UK, Brent (positive 357.5%, week ending 17 April).

Looking at major cities, the highest peak excess mortality was in Madrid (positive 432.7%, week ending 27 March) while in the UK, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality of any major British city (positive 249.7%, week ending 17 April).

Peaks of excess mortality were geographically localised in the countries of Western Europe

Interactive map showing relative age-standardised mortality rates by week and NUTS3 region of Europe

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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 3 and 7 August 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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