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Bethan Wilkins

Analyst

AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Will shoppers have more to spend in 2019?

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2019 \ February \ Will shoppers have more to spend in 2019?

The employment rate (the proportion of people in work aged 16 to 64) was estimated at 75.8% in January. This is higher than a year earlier (75.2%) and the joint-highest since comparable estimates began in 1971. At 2.9, the ratio of UK job vacancies to 100 employed jobs is also high. All this points to a tight labour market.

Estimates show that in 2018 average GB weekly earnings increased by 1.2%, compared with a year earlier. This figure is adjusted for inflation and excludes bonuses. Overall, earnings were at a similar level to 2011, meaning that wages have increased at approximately the same rate as inflation over that period.

The Consumer Prices Index 12-month inflation rate (including owner occupiers’ housing costs) was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.0% in December 2018. The largest downward contribution to the change in the 12-month rate came from electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices falling between December and January. In contrast, these prices were rising the same time a year ago.

This combination of a strong labour market and slowing inflation ought to increase shoppers’ disposable income. The population in England is expected to grow by 0.6% in 2019, with growth especially forecast in older age groups. These factors together, all other things being equal, should be positive for meat demand in the first part of the year.

Source: ONS

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Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst

duncan.wyatt@ahdb.org.uk  0247 647 8856