Latest updates and stories from Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce and its Members

BCC: UK’s weak trade position shows no signs of improving

Commenting on the trade statistics for September, released today by the ONS, Mike Spicer, Director of Research Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

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Retail sales point to growth

  • Retail sales volumes for August 2013: down 0.9% on the month; up 2.1% on the year
  • The August fall comes after a strong increase in July, and the trend in sales remains clearly upward, with an increase of 1.7% in the three months to August, compared with the previous three months
  • Annual inflation in the retail sector slowed from 1.8% in July 2013 to 1.6% in August 2013
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Job Figures

  • In the three months to July 2013, unemployment fell 24,000, and employment rose 80,000, compared with the previous quarter
  • In the three months to July 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.7%, down slightly from 7.8%
  • Youth unemployment (16-24 year olds) rose 9,000 to 960,000, and the unemployment rate in this age group was 21%
  • Between March and June 2013, public sector employment fell 34,000, and private sector employment rose 114,000

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Efforts needed to create jobs

  • In the three months to June 2013, unemployment fell by 4,000, and employment rose by 69,000, compared with the previous quarter
  • Long term unemployment is up, with further increases in the number of those unemployed for more than one year and two years
  • Youth unemployment has risen by 15,000 in the three months to June, and now stands at 973,000
  • In July 2013 the claimant count fell by 29,200, compared with June
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