- The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 24 July 2020 (Week 30) was 217 (2.4% 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 65% between 22 and 26 July 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 35,700 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 20 July and 26 July 2020 (0.07% of the community population). Analysis | Data
- Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.8% in May 2020 (but remained 24.5% below its February 2020 level). Analysis | Data
- The average number of actual hours worked per week fell by a record 5.5 hours on the year to a record low of 26.6 hours in March to May 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.
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This page was last updated at 09:30 on 6 August 2020.
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%.
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.
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.
4 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.
4 August 2020
Deaths involving COVID-19
Up to 24 July 2020, there were 51,505 deaths registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) (28,343 men and 23,162 women).
The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (46,020 out of 51,505).
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 24 July 2020 (Week 30) was 8,891, below the five-year average for the sixth week running.
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.
31 July 2020
COVID-19 Infection Survey
There is evidence of a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in recent weeks.
Based on nose and throat swabs, we estimate that 35,700 people in England had COVID-19 at some point in the most recent week (20 to 26 July 2020).
Modelling shows evidence of a slight increase in COVID-19 infection rates in recent weeks
Estimated percentage of the population in England testing positive on nose and throat swabs for the coronavirus (COVID-19) daily since 15 June 2020
The number of people newly infected with the virus has also increased, with latest data showing an estimated 4,200 new cases of COVID-19 per day in England.
Meanwhile, around 1 in 16 people (6.2%) who provided blood samples between 26 April and 26 July 2020 tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, suggesting that they had already had the virus. This equates to 2.8 million people in England.
Our survey only tests those within the community population, so the numbers exclude people in hospitals and care homes. Read our Coronavirus infection survey bulletin for more information.
31 July 2020
The latest data show 84% of adults in Great Britain who left their homes wore a mask or covering in the last seven days. This has risen from 71% the week before and 61% the week before that. Even more adults (90%) said they are either likely or fairly likely to wear a face covering in the next week.
Over half (57%) of our respondents strongly supported wearing face coverings in shops and supermarkets being mandatory. That figure was significantly higher (70%) among adults aged over 70 years.
Across Great Britain, 76% of adults responded to say they had worn a face covering in shops or supermarkets.
Almost all adults in Scotland (97%) said they had worn a face covering while shopping.
In England, 74% of adults reported wearing a face covering while at the shops. It is worth noting that it became mandatory to wear a face covering in English shops and supermarkets during the week the survey was conducted.
It is not mandatory for face coverings to be worn in shops and supermarkets in Wales. Still, 58% of adults in Wales told us they had worn a face covering while shopping.
Wearing a face covering is mandatory on public transport in all countries of Great Britain. Of our respondents who had used public transport, 89% said they had worn a face covering while travelling.
31 July 2020
Life outside the home
Most adults (94%) in Great Britain left their home this week.
They might be socialising with family or friends. Of all respondents, 73% told us they met up with someone outside their home; 50% of adults said family or friends had visited them at their home.
It seems older people are following the social distancing guidelines more closely. Of adults aged over 70 years, 70% told us they always maintained social distancing when meeting other people. This was only under half (47%) when looking at adults of all ages.
Aside from socialising, 54% of adults who work said they had travelled from home to their place of work this week, whereas 24% of working adults told us they had worked entirely from home, instead. Fewer adults worked exclusively from home this past seven days than the previous week (27%).
Respondents were asked a new question about the NHS track and trace app. Close to half of adults (47%) said they would be likely or very likely to use the app when it became available. Of adults with dependent children, 40% said they would be comfortable or very comfortable with their children using the app.
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
30 July 2020
The latest publication on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic impacts on the UK provides indicators and analysis from the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS).
The accommodation and food service activities sector reported the largest percentage of businesses starting to trade within the last two weeks after a pause in trading, at 33%; 44% of businesses in this sector have been trading for more than the last two weeks.
The accommodation and food service activities sector also reported the highest proportion of the workforce returning from furlough, at 18%, followed by the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, and the construction sector, both at 15%. The arts, entertainment and recreation industry had the highest proportion of the workforce remaining on furlough, at 47%, followed by accommodation and food service activities at 43%.
Of businesses continuing to trade, the sector with the highest percentage of businesses reporting that their turnover increased was the wholesale and retail trade sector, at 22%.
Of businesses who have not stopped trading, 33% had postponed, or cancelled bookings, services and events from 29 June to 12 July 2020. This includes 84% of responding businesses from the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.
30 July 2020
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.