- The August Glenigan Index fell by 27% compared to a year earlier, due to private sector clients having delayed schemes in the aftermath of the general election. Every sector tracked by Glenigan saw a decline in starts compared to a year earlier, though the decline in private housing was comparatively modest. However confidence remains strong in the English regions, Scotland and Wales. Every part of Great Britain except London and the South East saw the value of work approved increase during 2015 Q2.
- The July Markit/CIPS PMI showed a in business activity and new orders, as one of the weakest readings for residential growth in the last two years offset a four month high in commercial sector growth. The survey also found that job creation slowed but is well above average levels and reports of skills shortages were widespread. Sub-contractors continued to be in short supply with their availability falling for the 25th consecutive month, and they raised their charges at a near survey record pace.
- Hiring for both permanent and temporary roles rose at the slowest pace for over two years in July, according to the KPMG/REC report on jobs, a survey of recruiters. Growth in vacancies also increased at the slowest rate for two years. This reduction in demand appears to have offset the difficulties in finding staff; though availability of permanent candidates declined at the fastest rate since November, pay inflation for new permanent hires reached its lowest level for 18 months. Construction workers saw amongst the highest rises in demand for both permanent and temporary roles.
- The UK’s trade deficit narrowed during the second quarter of 2015, to £4.8 billion from £7.5 billion in 2015 Q1. This was primarily due to a £3 billion rise in exports of goods, which narrowed the deficit in trade in goods to £27.4 billion; the smallest since 2013 Q2. This was partially offset by a £22.6 billion surplus in services, down slightly compared to the previous quarter.
- British new car registrations rose by 3.2% year on year in July, according to the SMMT. The SMMT attributed the rise to “prevailing economic confidence combined with low interest rates and attractive finance deals”.