What the data says: Monday August 27

Economic data is released every day and offers a glimpse of the state of the British economy

Jobs, inflation, home prices and more: See the latest economic data

It’s up to you whether you like it or not but the official data is out and lots of different reports are out over the next few days.

Work to rule

Britons will have the chance to see how the public service feels about working-day hours later this week, as the public sector workers’ pay limit is challenged by the High Court.

The government is challenging a ruling from a lower court that the government’s overtime policy breaches their human rights. The case comes after health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the introduction of a new system on working hours for medics which could lead to pay cuts.


Inflation figures will be released this week with the series expected to remain steady or fall slightly – although it could creep up again.

Consumer prices index figures will be released on Wednesday, which will be followed by the retail prices index (RPI) figure on Thursday. The UK’s purchasing managers index (PMI) series of figures are released on Friday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said there is a possibility that these figures could be lowered by inflation data last month. The ONS said that there was no change made to the methodology for calculating inflation at the time.

The ONS also said it would be using more sophisticated methods to calculate CPI this year.

The figure for CPI in July was 3.0%, unchanged from three months earlier. A drop in the rise in consumer prices would mean that consumer spending would be boosted as well as giving the Bank of England another indication that inflation is under control.

Prices for clothes and shoes and groceries have been among the biggest inflation earners this year but the ONS predicted that the biggest inflation drivers would be in residential rents and clothing and footwear.

Home prices

The Halifax reported yesterday that house prices grew by 2.5% in July, reaching £204,000 for a typical property – slightly down on June’s figure.

Sales of home loans fell in July and a mortgage drought is reported to be causing prices to fall, which could potentially be a sign of the market bottoming out.

People’s spending power

Inflation figures and changes to workers’ pay policies are both important because they affect people’s spending power.

The ONS said that incomes were down 1.7% compared with the previous year. Non-UK nationals living here had their income fall more rapidly than UK nationals – down by 3.2% from the previous year, while UK nationals had incomes fall by 2.8%.

Rising prices

New research has found that the average urban household spends about £120 less a month on non-food items compared with people living in rural areas.

A report published by the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that the gap in average household spending has widened over the past decade as prices have outstripped incomes by an average 3% each year.

The research, which also examined housing costs and the cost of commute, found the number of households spending more than 25% of their disposable income on transport has doubled over the past 25 years.

The report found that this means the equivalent of six extra workers would be needed in rural areas if transport costs remained unchanged.

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