COVID-19: Highway site visitors and ‘social’ spending soars as variety of furloughed staff hits new low, figures present

People enjoy the sun at outdoor restaurant tables in Kingston, London, as Bank Holiday Monday could be the hottest day of the year so far - with temperatures predicted to hit 25C in parts of the UK. Picture date: Monday May 31, 2021.

2021-06-10 15:46:00

Card spending on journey and consuming out hit a brand new post-pandemic excessive throughout the half-term vacation whereas job adverts within the hospitality sector have surged, in keeping with newest information.

The figures had been printed by the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) as a part of an everyday collection of real-time indicators exhibiting the affect of COVID-19 on the economic system.

In addition they confirmed that the proportion of the UK workforce on furlough in Could had hit 7%, or about 1.8 million folks – a brand new low for the reason that information collection started in June final 12 months.

cafe closed sign businesses shut
The variety of staff on furlough hit a brand new low

Financial institution of England information, monitoring funds by card processors to 100 main retailers, confirmed “social” spending, which incorporates journey and consuming out, continued latest will increase to succeed in a brand new excessive for the reason that begin of the pandemic, although nonetheless solely at about 89% of February 2020 ranges.

It was up from 85% per week earlier and slightly below the extent of 91% in March, shortly earlier than the primary lockdown.

The extent had dipped to as little as 20% within the spring of final 12 months as a lot of the economic system was closed.

Spending classed as “work-related”, together with public transport and petrol, was additionally at its highest since early final 12 months – and almost a fifth above the February 2020 benchmark.

Total, card purchases within the week ending 3 June had been at 102% of the pre-pandemic common in February 2020, up from 95% within the earlier week – although it was not the primary time spending has topped pre-pandemic ranges since lockdowns started to ease in April.

The ONS highlighted that the newest interval lined a financial institution vacation, college half-term and Could pay day for a lot of staff.

The figures additionally offered a snapshot of how the hospitality sector is faring – with information from reserving web site OpenTable exhibiting the typical variety of seated diners at eating places within the week to 7 June at 147% of the identical interval in 2019, although this was down on the earlier week.

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On the identical time, figures from on-line jobs search website Adzuna, as of 4 June, confirmed the recruitment squeeze going through the sector with the amount of adverts for “catering and hospitality” roles at 140% of the February 2020 common, up from 57% in April.

In the meantime, Division for Transport information confirmed the amount of motorized vehicle site visitors firstly of this week at 99% of February 2020 ranges because the economic system will get again into gear.

However footfall information from Springboard confirmed that, whereas visits to procuring areas rose final week, it was nonetheless at solely 85% of pre-lockdown ranges.

The figures come because the British Chambers of Commerce predicted a consumer-led rebound for the UK economic system this 12 months however warned it might be held again if lockdown restrictions are usually not eased on 21 June as at the moment deliberate.

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