Headline figures

  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 31 July 2020 (Week 31) was 193 (2.2% of all deaths in that week). Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of adults in Great Britain worried about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their life was 67% between 5 and 9 August 2020. Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of businesses that had been trading for more than the previous two weeks was 90% between 27 July and 9 August 2020 (a further 3% had restarted in the last two weeks, 6% remained temporarily closed). Analysis | Data
  • An estimated 28,300 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 3 and 9 August 2020 (0.05% of the community population). Analysis | Data
  • Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 8.7% in June 2020 (but remained 17.2% below its February 2020 level). Analysis | Data
  • The average number of actual hours worked per week fell by a record 5.6 hours on the quarter to a record low of 25.8 hours in April to June 2020. Analysis | Data
  • The volume of retail sales increased by 13.9% in June 2020 compared with the previous month (non-food and fuel stores continue their recovery from the sharp falls experienced since the start of the pandemic). Analysis | Data

This page is a summary of insights from our most recent analysis and will be updated as new publications are released.

Sign up to our email alerts for daily updates in your inbox, or view analysis by theme in our roundups of deaths and health, the economy and the social impacts of COVID-19.

This page was last updated at 12:00 on 14 August 2020.


14 August 2020

COVID-19 Infection Survey

There is some evidence of a small increase in the percentage of people in England testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in July.

This follows a low point in June, but appears to have now levelled off.

During the period 3 to 9 August 2020, there were an estimated 0.69 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people in the community population in England, equating to around 3,800 new cases per day.

An estimated 28,300 people (95% credible interval: 19,000 to 40,700) within the community population in England had the coronavirus (COVID-19) during the same time period, equating to around 1 in 1,900 individuals. The data does not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

The number of people newly infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased in the most recent weeks following a low point in June and appears to have now levelled off

Estimated numbers of new infections with the coronavirus (COVID-19), England, based on tests conducted daily since 11 May 2020

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As of 9 August 2020, 6.2% of people aged 16 years and over tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19. This equates to around 1 in 16 people. The percentage of people testing positive for antibodies is higher in London than in Yorkshire and The Humber, the East Midlands, the South East and the South West of England.

The human body produces antibodies to fight off infections such as COVID-19 and they remain in the body, which means they can help prevent people getting the same infection again.

The estimate suggests that around 2.8 million people in England would have the antibodies if they were tested. In Wales during this period, an estimated 1,500 people in Wales had COVID-19. This equates to around 0.05% of the population in Wales, or around 1 in 2,100 people.

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14 August 2020

Going on holiday

A third of adults (33%) in the UK have said that their household would not be able to afford a week’s holiday this year.

They were asked about their holiday plans this year, amid the disruption in the tourism industry caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and 59% said they could afford a week away.

Just 10% of adults said they were likely or very likely to travel abroad with the knowledge that they would have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the UK. However, 62% said they were very unlikely to travel if this were the case.

People entering the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are travelling from an exempt country.

Adults said the requirement for self-isolation upon return from outside the UK had affected their travel plans, and 1 in 5 (20%) reported that they had cancelled their travel plans, and 14% said they’d decided to holiday in the UK instead of travelling abroad this year.

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13 August 2020

Does exposure to air pollution increase the risk of dying from COVID-19?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a big drop in pollution levels – global carbon emissions per day were up to 17% lower than normal at one stage in early April, returning to levels last seen in 2006.

However, some studies suggest that long-term exposure to air pollution before the pandemic is associated with severe symptoms from COVID-19 and a greater risk of death.

Today, we have published detailed analysis showing that deaths involving COVID-19 were more common in highly polluted areas in England, particularly early in the pandemic.

This was at least partly driven by outbreaks in areas such as London. The correlation between air pollution and mortality fell as deaths rose, before levelling off in early May.

To isolate the impact of air pollution, we developed a statistical model controlling for factors such as levels of deprivation, population density and public health (such as smoking rates). This enabled us to compare deaths among populations of similar health from the same sort of area, with the main difference being long-term exposure to air pollution.

We also controlled for ethnicity, thereby comparing deaths among populations with similar levels of ethnic diversity. When we control for ethnicity, we found that air pollution exposure has no statistically significant impact on COVID-19 deaths.

However, the fact that ethnic minority populations are more likely to live in inner city areas (that are more polluted) makes it very difficult to isolate air pollution from other potential drivers of disparity in COVID-19 mortality for ethnic minorities. Ultimately, our analysis is inconclusive.

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13 August 2020

Business profits and online job adverts

Our latest experimental indicators show how the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted on the UK economy and society. This week’s figures show that while 29% of businesses are either making a loss or breaking even, the number of online job adverts has increased by nine percentage points, the largest increase in 2020 so far.

Of all industries that responded to the Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS), 16% said that their costs exceeded their turnover and 13% said that they were equal.

The industries impacted the most were arts, entertainment and recreation with 42% reporting operating costs exceeding turnover. Meanwhile, manufacturing and real estate industries were found to have the highest number of businesses reporting that their turnover exceeded their operating costs at 52% and 53% respectively.

The volume of online job adverts increased substantially in the latest week to 62% of its 2019 average, from 53% in the previous week. This marks a departure from the previous two months, when online job adverts had remained close to half their 2019 average.

The volume of online job adverts reached 62% of its 2019 average between 31 July and 7 August 2020

Total weekly job adverts on Adzuna, UK, 4 January 2019 to 7 August 2020: index 2019 average = 100

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12 August 2020

GDP, April to June 2020

UK gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 20.4% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity through most of the quarter. Today’s GDP monthly estimate release captures the direct effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government measures taken to reduce transmission of the virus.

GDP saw its second consecutive quarterly decline in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

UK GDP growth, Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2005 until Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020

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The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

All the headline sectors provided a negative contribution to GDP growth in the three months to June 2020. The services sector fell by 19.9%, production by 16.9% and construction by 35.0%. GDP first quarterly estimate, UK: April to June 2020 provides further detail.

The monthly profile shows that monthly GDP grew by 8.7% in June 2020, as lockdown measured eased, following growth of 2.4% in May 2020. Despite this, the level of output did not fully recover from the record falls seen across March and April 2020, and it has reduced by 17.2% compared with February 2020, before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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12 August 2020

Services, production and construction

There was widespread growth in services, production and construction during June 2020. However, the Index of Services, Index of Production and Construction output all remained well below their February 2020 levels in June 2020.

A detailed analysis of the impact on the output of businesses has been published in Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: June 2020.

The output of service industries remained 17.6% below the level of February 2020, growing by 7.7% in the latest month. The easing of lockdown measures, most notably in England, had the most positive impact in June 2020, with nearly half of growth from the wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles sector.

All sub-sectors of services showed an increase in growth in June 2020; however, output did not recover to the pre-lockdown levels of February 2020

Monthly output (March, April, May and June 2020) as a proportion of February 2020, UK, February 2020 output = 100%

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The production industries remained 11.6% below their February 2020 level, even after growth of 9.3% in the latest month, with manufacturing declining by 14.2% since February 2020 and growing by 11.0% since May 2020.

Most subsectors of manufacturing showed an increase in growth in June 2020; however, output did not recover to the pre-lockdown levels of February 2020

Monthly output (March, April, May and June 2020) as a proportion of February 2020, UK, February 2020 output = 100%

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Construction output grew by a record 23.5% in June 2020, substantially higher than the previous monthly growth of 7.6% in May 2020. Despite this strong monthly growth, the construction industry remained 24.8% below the February 2020 level. While there has been a recommencement of work, social distancing measures meant where businesses were working on premises and sites, the capacity and level of output were not at the same levels of work experienced prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Total construction new orders decreased by a record 51.1% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020. This is the lowest level of new orders since quarterly records began in 1964. New orders measure the value of contracts that have been awarded for future work.

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12 August 2020

Labour productivity sees largest fall since records began

The first flash estimate of labour productivity covering a period in which lockdown measures to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) were in place throughout has shown the steepest quarter-on-quarter drop in productivity since estimates began.

Labour productivity, as measured by output per hour, dropped by 2.5% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 compared with the previous quarter.

Hospitality industry sees biggest productivity drop

For the first time, the latest figures also provide an experimental flash estimate of productivity by industry.

By far the most significant fall in productivity was in the hospitality industry. Output per hour in this industry decreased by 74.7%. This is because output (or production) over the period fell faster than the number of hours worked.

Conversely, there were some industries where productivity increased. The water supply industry saw an increase in output per hour of 14%, the largest recorded increase for this industry. Manufacturing of computers and electronics was close behind, with a 9.9% increase in output per hour. While both the output and number of hours worked in these industries dropped in Quarter 2 2020, because output fell less than hours worked, the result was an overall increase in output per hour.

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12 August 2020

UK trade

Falls in imports and exports in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 are detailed in today’s UK trade publication. This includes falls in both trade in goods and trade in services.

Most of the UK’s top trading partners have been significantly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the data in this release suggest evidence of coronavirus-related impacts on UK trade.

Imports fell by £35.2 billion to £122.3 billion, while exports fell by £26.7 billion to £130.9 billion. This has resulted in an increase in the total trade surplus, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, to £8.6 billion in Quarter 2 2020. This is the largest underlying total trade surplus on a three-month basis since records began in 1998.

The largest falls in both imports and exports of goods in Quarter 2 2020 were seen in machinery and transport equipment and fuels, which can be linked to the sharp drop in demand for road vehicles and oil owing to coronavirus-related restrictions.

The monthly trade data show early signs of recovery, with an increase in June 2020 for both imports and exports on May 2020. This follows relatively small movements in May, following large falls of both in April.

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11 August 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19

Up to 31 July 2020, there were 51,710 deaths registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) (28,455 men and 23,255 women).

The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (46,199 out of 51,710).

Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on death certificates. We have published a summary of where you can find data on COVID-19 infection rates and deaths for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The total number of deaths in the week ending 31 July 2020 (Week 31) was 8,946, below the five-year average for the seventh week in a row.

Private homes remained the only setting to record any excess deaths (deaths above the five-year average). Care homes, hospitals and other communal establishments recorded fewer deaths than the average for this time of year.

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11 August 2020

UK labour market

Our latest figures on the UK labour market have now been published.

Early indicators for July 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down around 730,000 compared with March 2020. Flows analysis suggests that the falls in May, June and July were mainly because of fewer people moving into payrolled employment.

Survey data show employment is weakening, with numbers of self-employed and part-time workers seeing reductions. Unemployment is largely unchanged because of increases in economic inactivity, with people out of work but not currently looking for work.

There are still a large number of people temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers – approximately 7.5 million in June 2020, with over 3 million of these being away for three months or more. There were also around 300,000 people away from work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and receiving no pay in June 2020.

Hours worked has continued to fall reaching record lows both on the year and on the quarter. The average number of actual hours worked per week fell by a record 5.6 hours on the quarter to a record low of 25.8 hours in April to June 2020.

Pay fell for all measures in the three months to June 2020. Nominal regular pay growth for April to June 2020 is negative for the first time since records began in 2001, at negative 0.2%.

For May to July 2020, there were an estimated 370,000 vacancies in the UK, which is 10% higher than the record low in April to June 2020. Some smaller businesses are reporting taking on additional staff to meet coronavirus guidelines. Estimated vacancies for May to July 2020 are 453,000 fewer than for May to July 2019.

The Claimant Count, an Experimental Statistic, increased in July 2020 reaching 2.7 million. This includes both those who are working with low income or hours, and those who are not working.

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User requested data

We have been responding to data requests from the public, media and government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Responses are published in our list of user requested data.

Our subnational data page offers advice to anyone doing their own analysis on the impact of the coronavirus. It contains useful links to geographic boundaries and datasets such as population by local area.

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Weekly summary

We have summarised ONS data and analysis related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a slide pack. This slide pack is updated weekly, with the latest version (PDF, 875 KB) covering data published between 3 and 7 August 2020.

This is a new product that we are continuing to develop, please send any feedback on the slides to COVID19Analysis@ons.gov.uk.

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