22 August 2020
Readers of the blog tell me they enjoy reading inspiring reports about industry players and positive data about the economy in these challenging times.
So, while I am still committed to reporting information in a balanced way, I have compiled the following list of ten upbeat - and occasionally quirky - statistics, presented in ascending order. Enjoy!
1.2% Retail spending in the UK rose by this amount in July, sending sales above pre-Covid levels.
97% The proportion of tradespeople in a recent Travis Perkins survey who said they wouldn’t be taking any particular measures to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
147% According to the Office for National Statistics, this was the extra amount of time people spent gardening and doing DIY during lockdown. Hopefully it’s an activity that will encourage them to hire more equipment.
£500 There are obviously people with money to spend out there. This is the price of Oral-B’s latest electric toothbrush that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth (no pun intended) to monitor dental hygiene. The device has 250 patents and when it was launched a month ago, apparently, there was already a waiting list of 200,000 people. No, really!
62,355 The number of house sales in Canada in July, which the Canadian Real Estate Association says is a record, up 30% year-on-year. It cites factors such as pent-up post-pandemic demand and people moving farther away from offices to work from home. (I’ll ignore the warning from the state-owned mortgage insurer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, that a fifth of all Canadian mortgages could be in arrears by the end of the year.)
£290,000 is the current average UK house price. Pre-lockdown it was £260,000. Commentators believe the rise is due to the chancellor’s stamp duty holiday on properties worth less than £500,000.
600,000 or more The number of dwellings that could benefit under the government’s new Green Homes Grant Scheme which will fund up to two-thirds of improvement costs to a maximum £10,000. This can cover projects (in England) like insulation, double glazing and solar heating.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
1.10 million The number of UK job adverts placed in the week beginning 3 August. This is the highest weekly total since the lockdown began, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. Significantly, most posts were for gardeners, bricklayers, construction workers, LGV drivers and painters and decorators.
35 million The number of times that the chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme was used during the first half of August. It is running throughout the month and the government has earmarked £500m to pay for it.
£37 billion The value of UK property sales agreed in July according to the estate agent, Rightmove. The company says this is a record and 48% greater than the same month last year.
(Picture: Engin Akyurt/Pixabay)