GDP rose a disappointing 0.1% (MOM) in July and was still 2.1% lower than in pre-pandemic February 2020.
Services were flat in July, whilst production rose, bolstered by a recovery in oil field production. Construction output fell for the fourth consecutive month.
There was a modest deterioration in the trade balance in July. Exports to the EU fell by 6.5% (MOM), whilst exports to the non-EU rose by 5.0%.
Markit indicators suggested continuing growth in August, though growth slowed for services and construction compared with July. Manufacturing was little changed. The surveys noted continued business concerns about staff and supply shortages and inflationary pressures. However, all three sectors remained optimistic about prospects.
The SMMT reported weak new car registrations in August.
The Halifax reported house prices rose by 0.7% (MOM) in August, to be 7.1% higher YOY.
The HMRC reported that the number ofemployments (sic) on furlough was 1.56mn on 31 July 2021, some 340,000 lower (MOM) than on 30 June. The number had peaked at 8.9mn on 8 May 2020. The furlough scheme is due to end on 30 September 2021.
In giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, the Bank Governor said the end of the furlough scheme should help with current worries about “getting jobs filled” but added that, while other pressures on the economy caused by supply chain bottlenecks and higher commodity prices looked likely to fade, he had a “bit more concern about persistence in the labour market story”. On the economy generally he noted that “…at the moment we are seeing some levelling off in the recovery.”