1. Shop price inflation climbs to highest rate since April 2013
Shop price inflation accelerated in December to 0.3%, up from 0.1% in November, marking the fourth month of inflation in five years and the highest inflation rate since April 2013.
Non-food deflation decelerated in December to 0.4% from 0.8% in November, signifying the lowest rate of deflation since March 2013.
Food inflation dropped to 1.5% in December from 1.6% the month prior and fresh food inflation slowed to 0.9%, down from 1.2%.
Meanwhile ambient food inflation accelerated to 2.3% in December from 2.1% in November.
Source: British Retail Consortium
2. Home entertainment market grows 10%
The home entertainment market grew by 10% in 2018, bringing the total value of the category to £2.34bn.
Some 63% of consumers now choose to rent or stream film and TV content, while people choosing to buy content either via disc or download accounted for just 37% of category value.
When it comes to transactional spend, 59% is still attributed to physical content bought on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray discs. However, digital transaction spend “surpassed all expectations” in 2019, reaching a market value of £400m.
Electronic sell-through movies saw sales rise 36% year on year, while iVoD (movie rentals via online services) was up by more than 20%.
Source: British Association for Screen Entertainment
3. Decline in consumer confidence hurts new car market
Sales of new cars in the UK declined by 6.8% in 2018, with annual registrations falling for a second year to 2.36 million units.
A 5.5% drop in December capped a turbulent year of model changes, regulatory upheaval and continued anti-diesel policies, adding to the ongoing decline in consumer and business confidence.
Private, fleet and business registrations all fell last year with the biggest losses felt in the fleet sector (down 7.3%), while private motorists and smaller business operators registered 6.4% and 5.6% fewer new cars respectively.
However, the biggest volume decline was seen in the diesel sector, which was down 29.6% in 2018.
Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
4. Business chiefs concerned about the future of the UK economy
The majority of business leaders in Britain are concerned about the future of the nation’s economic condition, with many saying they expect it to decline.
A survey of the UK’s 500 largest listed and private companies found 74% are pessimistic about 2019, up 8 percentage points from last year and likely linked to concerns about Brexit.
When asked whether they believe the prospect of Brexit is worse today than 12 months ago, 67% believe their company is worse off now, up from 56% a year ago.
Some 68% also say they have concerns about the government’s ability to strike a deal for UK businesses with the EU.
5. Almost half of Brits have reduced time spent on social media
Some 41% of Brits say they’ve decreased time spent on social networks over the last 12 months, compared to 46% of Americans.
Millennials and Generation Z are leading the way when it comes to slashing time spent on social networks, with 58% of each cohort saying they’ve made a conscious effort to reduce time. On top of this, six out of 10 say they’ve decreased their time to ‘much less’ or ‘a great deal less’.
Meanwhile, 32% of all users in the UK and US say they have deactivated or closed a social media account in the past 12 months. More men (37%) have closed or deactivated an account than women (25%) in both the UK and the US.
The top five reasons for deactivating their accounts are as follows:
- 30% are no longer interested in what other people do/share
- 26% say social media had become too shallow/personal image driven
- 25% didn’t trust social media companies with data/content
- 24% didn’t like being dependent on social media
- 23% wanted to spent more time with family and friends