UK B2B Economic Outlook – Winter 2021
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“2021 has demonstrated a rapid recovery from the record fall in GDP in 2020 – in sharp contrast to the elongated flat recovery following the last recession. However, the huge…

UK B2B Economic Outlook – Winter 2021

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“2021 has demonstrated a rapid recovery from the record fall in GDP in 2020 – in sharp contrast to the elongated flat recovery following the last recession. However, the huge uncertainties surrounding the outbreak of Omicron now dominate expectations for the economy. While the government clearly remains resistant to another official lockdown, the impact of the virus spiralling in numbers exposes sectors such as hospitality to contraction at its seasonally most important period. At the same time the Bank of England has been forced to increase interest rates for the first time in three years as the UK, in common with the rest of Europe, grapples with steep rises in gas prices fuelling wider inflation.”
– Terry Leggett, Senior Analyst


Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Summary
    • Economic overview
    • Public sector borrowing dominated by COVID-19
    • Bank rate impacted by COVID-19 too
    • Unemployment
    • CPI increasing sharply
    • Earnings rising
    • Business health
    • Business investment takes major hit
    • Business confidence defying COVID-19
    • Company births and deaths rising in 2021
    • Special focus: Construction
    • GDP exaggerated again
    • What’s next?
    • GDP
    • Unemployment
  2. Economic Overview

    • COVID-19
    • GDP
      • Figure 1: UK GDP monthly index, 2007-2021 (2019 = 100)
      • Figure 2: Monthly Output index of UK sectors, 2021
    • UK structure
      • Figure 3: Structure of the UK economy, by sector, financial year 2021 (% of turnover of companies)
      • Figure 4: Structure of the UK economy, by size or company, 2021 (% of turnover by companies in the private sector)
      • Figure 5: Comparison of revenue changes in 2021, by company size
    • Public sector borrowing
      • Figure 6: Public sector borrowing compared with GDP, 1901-2021
      • Figure 7: Quarterly public sector net borrowing, 2019-2021
    • Bank rate
      • Figure 8: Bank rate, by date of adjustment, 2008-21
    • CPI
      • Figure 9: Consumer price Index, 12-month rate, 2020-21
    • Employment and unemployment
      • Figure 10: UK employment rate, 2008-21
      • Figure 11: Number of furloughed employments, 2020-21
      • Figure 12: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Claims, at September 2021
      • Figure 13: UK unemployment rate, 2006-20
    • Earnings growth
      • Figure 14: Annual changes in median pay, 2016-21 (£ per month)
      • Figure 15: Development of the NMW and NLW, 2016-2021 (£s per hour rate)
  3. Business Health

    • Business investment
      • Figure 16: Business investment, 2016-21
    • Business confidence
      • Figure 17: ICAEW UK National Business ConfidenceTM index, Q2 2008 – Q4 2021
    • Productivity
      • Figure 18: UK productivity measured by output per hour, 2008-2021
    • Business births and deaths
      • Figure 19: Business births and deaths, 2017-21
  4. Special Focus: Construction

    • General
      • Figure 20: UK GDP, new construction and RMI growth rate comparison, 2007-2021
    • Housing
      • Figure 21: New house building construction activity, 2007-21
      • Figure 22: Housing completions in England, by sector, 1970-2021
      • Figure 23: Average house prices in the UK, 2000-2021
    • Private industrial construction
      • Figure 24: Private industrial construction activity, 2007-2021
      • Figure 25: Factory and warehouse construction, 2016-21
    • Private commercial construction
      • Figure 26: Private commercial construction activity, 2007-2021
    • New public non-residential construction
      • Figure 27: Public non-residential construction activity, 2007-21
    • New infrastructure
      • Figure 28: New infrastructure activity, 2007-21
    • Repair, maintenance and improvement
      • Figure 29: Repair, maintenance and improvement activity, 2007-21
  5. What’s Next?

    • The economy
      • Figure 30: Expected development of the UK economy, 2015-26
    • Unemployment
      • Figure 31: Expected development of unemployment, 2015-26
  6. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations

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