The BRC Economic Briefing Report for June 2021

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The British Retail Consortium has released its Economic Briefing Report for June 2021. 

The UK economy is set for a quick rebound, with production, spend and employment picking-up. UK GDP grew for the third straight month in April and the PMI surveys showed another surge in demand in both manufacturing and services in June.

There are signs that the labour market is recovering, with the number of payroll employees and the number of hours worked rising. However, the strength of the recovery will be tested in earnest in the coming months, as furloughing scheme starts unwinding.

The rise in prices of materials and fuels across entire supply chains raises fears of overheating, but the Bank of England deemed these rises temporary, not warranting a change to its interest rates.

Headline Statistics: 

  • All eyes were on inflation this month, as the rise in prices of materials and fuels across entire supply chains raises fears of overheating. UK prices were 2.1% in May compared to a year ago, above market expectations of 1.8% and April’s rate of 1.5%. The Bank of England deemed these rises temporary, not warranting a change to its interest rates.
  • The UK economy grew for the third straight month in April. Output rose by 2.3%, the highest pace since July 2020, as restrictions were scaled back. This puts the April’s GDP 3.7% below the level of February 2020.
  • The IHS Markit survey of purchasing managers (PMI) showed businesses faced another surge in demand in June, though there some signs that the rate of expansion might have peaked.
  • Retail sales picked up in May, recording the strongest growth since the start of the pandemic. Total sales rose by 10.0% compared to 2 years ago, with Food sales increasing by 9.8% (3-mth average) and Non-Food by 7.5% (3-mth average).
  • There are signs that the labour market is recovering, with the number of payroll employees and the number of hours worked rising. However, the strength of the recovery will be tested in earnest in the coming months, as furloughing scheme starts unwinding.

As a member of the BRC, the MIA can share the full report with our members. If you would like to see the full report, please contact alice@mia.org.uk