Over half (54%) of businesses that had not permanently ceased trading said they were owed outstanding invoice payments as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the latest Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS). See Section 2.
There was a continuing trend of reduced home working according to the latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), with 20% of working adults exclusively working from home. See Section 3.
In the week starting Saturday 22 August, company incorporations fell to 3,066 per working day, which remains above the Quarter 3 2019 (July to Sept) average (2,612), according to data from Companies House. See Section 4.
Between 21 and 28 August, total online job adverts remained around 55% of their 2019 average for a fourth consecutive week. See Section 5.
In the week commencing 24 August, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) lodgements across England and Wales for existing and new dwellings were 31% and 38% higher respectively than the same week a year ago. See Section 6.
In the week commencing 24 August, overall footfall increased to over three-quarters of its value the same day a year ago for the first time since lockdown began. See Section 7.
Between 24 and 30 August, counts of cars, pedestrians and cyclists in London and the North East returned to around the levels seen immediately pre-lockdown, but are still lower than when the series began in early March. See Section 8.
On Sunday 30 August, all motor vehicle traffic was five percentage points higher than traffic seen on the equivalent Sunday in the first week of February, influenced by the bank holiday weekend. See Section 9.
Between 24 and 30 August, the average number of daily ship visits was 324 compared with 377 in the week before lockdown (16 to 22 March). See Section 10.
The observed fluctuations in weekly incorporations per working day between April to early May 2020 and June to the end of July 2020 coincide with government-instigated lockdown measures and the subsequent easing of them in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is in line with official statistics published by Companies House on 30 July 2020.
Voluntary dissolution applications
For more information on other measures of company closures not presented here, see Weekly indicators of company creations and closures from Companies House methodology: August 2020.Back to table of contents
These figures use job adverts provided by Adzuna, an online job search engine, and include experimental estimates of online job adverts by Adzuna category and by UK country and NUTS1 regions. The number of job adverts over time is an indicator of the demand for labour.
These estimates and the methodology used to produce them will continue to be developed over time. The Adzuna categories used do not correspond to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories, so these values are not directly comparable with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Vacancy Survey.
Figure 5: Between 21 and 28 August, total online job adverts remained around 55% of their 2019 average for a fourth consecutive week
Total weekly job adverts on Adzuna, UK, 4 January 2019 to 28 August 2020: index 2019 average = 100
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The observations were collected on a roughly weekly basis; however, they were not all observed at the same point in each week, leading to slightly irregular gaps between each observation.
These series have a small number of missing weeks, mostly in late 2019, and the latest is in January 2020. These values have been imputed using linear interpolation. The data points that have been imputed are clearly marked in the accompanying dataset.
Further category breakdowns are included in the Online job advert estimates dataset, and more details on the methodology can be found in Using Adzuna data to derive an indicator of weekly vacancies.
Online job adverts increased in over two-thirds of the Adzuna categories, but most categories saw only small changes in online job adverts compared with the previous week. The only change larger than six percentage points was in the Facilities and Maintenance category, which saw a 25-percentage point increase to 180% of the 2019 average. It should be noted this category has a small sample size, and its 2019 average is affected by a large change in coverage from September 2019.
In Yorkshire and The Humber, online job adverts increased by six percentage points of the 2019 average, the only increase of more than more percentage points. The volume of online job adverts had previously been much lower in Yorkshire and The Humber than other regions, but its increase in the latest week means it is now at a comparable level.
Nearly every region and country of the UK saw a small increase in its volume of online job adverts. The only regions in which adverts declined were London (decreased by two percentage points) and the North West (decreased by one percentage point).Back to table of contents
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are used as a timely indicator for the number of completed constructions (new EPCs) and number of transactions (existing EPCs). More detailed statistics split by NUTS1 English region are published weekly by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
This release includes weekly EPCs data for new and existing domestic properties in England and Wales from 24 February 2019 up to the week beginning 24 August 2020. Previously, data were only available to 24 February 2020; as a result, this section has changed from analysing the percentage change since the week commencing 24 February 2020 to the percentage change compared with the same week the previous year. For example, the latest week commencing 24 August 2020 was compared with 26 August 2019. This is shown in Figure 7.
EPCs for existing dwellings have remained higher than the same week the previous year since the week commencing 15 June 2020 across England and Wales combined. This can be explained by lower than usual residential property transactions during March to June 2020 and a catch up in property transaction demand thereafter outlined by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) UK property transaction statistics.
EPCs for new dwellings have seen a slower recovery relative to existing EPCs during May to August 2020. A reduction in construction would contribute to the delay in EPC assessments of new dwellings. However, in the latest week EPCs for new dwellings have increased substantially relative to the same week last year.Back to table of contents
These figures are provided by Springboard, a provider of data on customer activity. They measure the volume of footfall compared with the same day the previous year at the overall level and across the categories of high streets, retail parks and shopping centres. For example, Tuesday 14 July 2020 was compared with Tuesday 16 July 2019.
In the week commencing 24 August, overall footfall increased to over 75% of its level the same day a year ago for the first time since mid-March. This continues the gradual increase in footfall seen since the reopening of non-essential shops and businesses in England on 15 June.
The increase was largely driven by high street footfall, which increased from below 60% to around 75%. This large increase marks a departure from the trend of the previous few weeks, where footfall in high streets had remained broadly stable.
The spike on Monday 24 August was caused by the comparison with 26 August 2019 last year, which was bank holiday Monday with good weather. The bank holiday this year was a week later on 31 August.
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Traffic cameras are a valuable source for understanding the level of activity in towns and cities as well as changing patterns of mobility. The UK has thousands of publicly accessible traffic cameras with providers ranging from national agencies to local authorities.
The traffic camera images utilised in this analysis are publicly available, low resolution and do not permit people or vehicles to be individually identified. Our research shows that they are a good indicator for overall levels of “busyness” in urban areas. As such, they are a valuable complement to other mobility and traffic data to understand the economic and social effects of changing patterns of behaviour during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Currently, these indicators are not official statistics and are considered experimental. They provide insight and value, but they will be further improved upon over the coming weeks and months. Therefore, we expect these series to be revised. These counts are not adjusted to estimate for the local population so are not a reliable estimate of the actual number of movements; however, they do provide a good estimate of the relative changes to number of movements.
In the accompanying dataset, the following categories are available as non-seasonally adjusted, seasonally adjusted and trend data:
- motorbikes (only available for London and the North East)
- pedestrians and cyclists
For the following regions (links are provided for each region’s publicly available traffic cameras and the date when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) started collecting the data):
- Durham (since 7 May 2020)
- London (11 March 2020)
- Manchester (17 April 2020)
- North East (1 March 2020)
- Northern Ireland (15 May 2020)
- Southend (7 May 2020)
- Reading (7 May 2020)
These locations give broad coverage across the UK while also representing a range of different-sized settlements in both urban and rural settings.
Figure 9: Between 24 and 30 August, counts of cars, pedestrians and cyclists in London and the North East returned to around the levels seen immediately pre-lockdown, but are still lower than when the series began in early March
Activity in selected areas, daily counts of cars, buses, pedestrians and cyclists, seasonally adjusted, March to August 2020
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In London and the North East, where data collection started in March, there was a drop in activity across all three categories when lockdown was introduced on 23 March. In the week following the beginning of lockdown (23 to 29 March), average daily bus traffic in London fell by 13% when compared with the previous week. This was less than in the North East, which fell by 23% and where full services were only reintroduced at the beginning of June.
For car and pedestrian and cyclist traffic, average daily counts for the latest week (24 to 30 August) have returned to around the same level as the week prior to lockdown (16 to 22 March). Bus traffic in London was around 95% of that week, while in the North East it was around 90%.
In Northern Ireland, although data collection did not start until 15 May 2020, the data show a gradual increase in cars and pedestrians and cyclists.
More categories and areas are available in the accompanying dataset. Comparison to Department for Transport (DfT) road traffic estimates is shown in the accompanying traffic camera methodology article published today.Back to table of contents
The Department for Transport (DfT) produces daily road traffic estimates using data from around 275 automatic traffic count sites across Great Britain covering all road types, which are published weekly.
The daily DfT estimates are indexed to the first week of February and the comparison is to the same day of the week. The data provided are useful as an indication of traffic change rather than actual traffic volumes. More information on the methods, quality and economic analysis for these indicators can be found in the methodology article.
Figure 10 shows road traffic across all motor vehicles has been gradually returning to levels seen in the first week of February 2020 following a lockdown low point around the end of March. The latest road traffic data up to Monday 31 August show traffic for all motor vehicles was 18 percentage points lower than traffic seen on the equivalent Monday in the first week of February. The large reduction in traffic is explained by the August bank holiday weekend.Back to table of contents
These shipping indicators are based on counts of all vessels and cargo and tanker vessels. As discussed in Faster indicators of UK economic activity: shipping, we expect the shipping indicators to be related to the import and export of goods.
The time series of daily and weekly passenger visits have been temporarily suspended because of quality concerns. We are investigating and hope to reinstate these series in future releases.
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Weekly and daily shipping indicators
Dataset | Released 3 September 2020
The weekly and daily shipping indicators dataset associated with the faster indicators of UK economic activity.
Online job advert estimates
Dataset | Released 3 September 2020
Experimental job advert indices covering the UK job market.
Traffic camera activity
Dataset | Released 3 September 2020
Experimental dataset for busyness indices covering the UK.
A faster indicator provides insights into economic activity using close-to-real-time big data, administrative data sources, rapid response surveys or Experimental Statistics, which represent useful economic and social concepts.
Incorporations are when a company is added to the Companies House register of limited companies. This can also include where an existing business applies to become a limited company, where it was not one before.
Voluntary dissolution applications
A voluntary dissolution application is when a company applies to begin dissolution proceedings. As such, they effectively chose to be removed from the Companies House register. For a company to be eligible to voluntarily dissolve, it should not have completed any trading activity for a period of three months.Back to table of contents
We will expand our range of weekly online price indices to cover a broader selection of food and drink items and will look to start publishing the expanded basket in the coming weeks.
Detailed information on the data sources, quality and methodology of the different indicators included in this bulletin is available in the Coronavirus and the latest indicators of the UK economy and society methodology.
We will summarise any crucial updates to the quality or methodology in this section in the future.Back to table of contents
Detailed information on the strengths and limitations of the different indicators included in this bulletin is available in the Coronavirus and the latest indicators of the UK economy and society methodology.
We will summarise any crucial updates or warnings in this section in the future.Back to table of contents
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