Next week’s figures will show us the economic damage being done by the UK’s second lockdown.
On Monday, purchasing managers are likely to report that both manufacturing and services fell back into recession this month. And later in the week, the CBI will say that retail sales slumped in the month as non-essential retailers were forced to shut. The lockdown might not be the only problem for the high street, however: the CBI found that sales fell sharply in October too, suggesting the retail recovery was running out of steam already.
One upside of the first lockdown, however, is that it forced some of us to save more and so repair our balance sheets. Bank of England data on Friday will show that credit card debt has fallen since the lockdown while cash savings have increases sharply. Other data from the Bank will, however, show the counterpart to this. Lending to small businesses has soared, as they borrow to tide themselves over the loss of revenues. This threats to trigger a swathe of business failures in coming months.