Commenting on ONS Labour Market statistics for May 2021, published today, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:
“The decline in the unemployment rate and the rise in payroll employment is further confirmation that the UK jobs market is now more resilient to the ongoing restrictions.
The British Chambers of Commerce today announced the publication of new research which shows a rising number of firms expecting their prices to increase significantly in the coming months. The figures also document growing concern among businesses over rising inflation.
The data, drawn from responses from more than 5,800 firms, shows 2 in 5 businesses (38%) in Q1 2021 expect to see their prices increase in the next three months, an increase from 25% in the previous quarter. In contrast, only 5% of firms are expecting a decrease.
The British Chambers of Commerce’s Trade Confidence Outlook for Q1, released today, has revealed the stark issues facing UK exporters in the first months of this year. The survey of more than 2,900 UK exporters revealed that the percentage of firms reporting decreased export sales had increased to 41%, up from 38% in the previous quarter. The percentage of businesses reporting increased export sales fell to 20%, down from 22% in Q4 2020. 40% reported no change in their export sales.
UK’s largest independent survey of business sentiment and a leading indicator of UK GDP growth – found that business conditions remained historically poor in the first quarter of 2021 as the third lockdown severely limited activity.
BCC President, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, says the route back to a full reopening of the economy is still a long way off, with continued uncertainty about whether, and when, the roadmap steps will be met.