The UK and eurozone economies are slowing a little, next week’s numbers could show.
On Wednesday, the ONS should report that GDP rose slightly in August. Although this would put the economy on course for growth of over 1 per cent in the third quarter, it would suggest that the expansion has slowed in the last two months. This is partly because of shortages of some materials and staff, but also because the post-lockdown boost in consumer spending seems to have been smaller than some hoped.
We should also see a small drop in unemployment next week, to around 1.5 million or 4.5 per cent of the workforce. This is some 200,000 higher than before the pandemic. A wider measure of joblessness – which also counts people outside the labour force wanting a job – will however be close to its pre-pandemic low. Total hours worked, though, will still be below their pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that overall demand for labour is still depressed.