Barclays Economic Update: UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Increased by 2.3% in apr’21
According to estimated data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), monthly UK GDP increased by 0.4% in apr’21, showing the fastest growth since jul’20. Apr’21 was registered as the third consecutive month of GDP growth as covid-19 restrictions continued to ease.
The monthly output in the service sector increased by 3.4% in apr’21 compared to mar’21. The monthly output in the production sector decreased by 1.3% in apr’21 compared to mar’21. Meanwhile, monthly output in the construction sector decreased by 2.0% in apr’21 compared to growth in mar’21.
The monthly output in the manufacturing sector decreased by 0.3% in apr’21, following increases in feb’21 and mar’21. The output decreased in 5 out of the 13 manufacturing sub-sectors in apr’21. The largest contribution to the decline came from the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations, which decreased by 16.0%, and the manufacture of transport equipment, which decreased by 2.8% in apr’21.
UK Total Exports of Goods Decreased by 0.6% to £26.6bn in Apr’21
According to estimated data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), total exports of goods in the UK, excluding precious metals, decreased by 0.6% i.e. by £0.1bn, to reach £26.6bn in apr’21. The decrease in exports to non-EU countries offset the increase in exports to EU countries.
In apr’21, the total exports of goods to non-EU countries decreased by £0.2bn, driven by £0.2bn decrease in total exports of machinery and transport equipment. Total exports of goods to the EU increased in apr’21, driven by a £0.2bn increase in exports of material manufactures, specifically iron and steel.
Total imports of goods, excluding precious metals, increased by 3.9% i.e. by £1.4bn to reach £38.5bn in apr’21, driven by an increase in imports from non-EU and EU countries. The upturn in imports of goods from non-EU countries was driven by increasing imports of non-ferrous metals and crude oil from non-EU countries like South Africa. meanwhile, the upturn in imports of goods from EU countries was driven by increasing imports of general miscellaneous manufactures.
Government Launched Mentor Scheme to Help UK Food Exporters
Department for International Trade (DIT) launched a new mentorship programme to help UK farmers and food producers increase their exports. DIT is running the programme in partnership with Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the National Farmers Union (NFU). The programme forms a part of DIT’s strategy to boost agriculture exports into new markets.
Under the mentorship programme, experienced exporters will work with businesses who are looking to export for the first time. The programme will allow the experienced exporters to share the knowledge and tools required to sell the products in international markets with the farmers and producers.
EU Exit Links and reminders
Information about how to contact Defra, including where to find answers to common queries, is available on gov.uk.
Moving Goods Trader Showcase migration
The online Trader Showcase site that you’ve been using to find out about the new rules for moving goods to Northern Ireland and exporting to the EU has been migrated to two new locations, which you can access by using the links below:
The new Trader Showcase has been developed using Dropbox Paper, which usually requires users to have an account to access content. We recommend opening a free account – which involves a basic registration process – if you don’t already have one.
The new Trader Showcase site works with most modern browsers, but is best viewed using Chrome, Firefox, Safari and the latest two versions of Edge.
Links to Defra’s Exporter Journey GB to EU Webinars
Links to our recorded webinars on the GB to EU Exporter Journey are now available on YouTube. Please share with anyone who may find this information useful. The topics are:
EU Settlement Scheme
Free movement ended at 23:00 on 31 December 2020. To remain in the UK after 31 December 2020, non-EU and EU citizens will need to have a UK immigration status.
EU citizens, and relevant family members, resident here before the end of 2020, will be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. With less than three weeks left to the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), we encourage EU citizens in the UK to apply if they have not already done so. The deadline for applications to the EUSS by EU, EEA or Swiss citizens resident in the UK by the end of 2020 is 30 June 2021. Please visit the gov.uk page for more information: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.
From 1 July 2021, the process for employers completing right to work checks on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will change. From this date, employers will no longer be able to accept the passports or ID cards of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens as valid proof of right to work. Guidance for employers and EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as on codes of practice, is available on gov.uk.
For those arriving from January 2021, they can apply under the new arrangements of the UK’s points-based immigration system.
Points-based Immigration system
On 1 January 2021 the Government introduced the new points-based immigration system, under which EU and non-EU citizens are treated equally.
Phase 2 of the Home Office’s communication campaign, to ensure businesses are ready for the new points-based immigration system, is now underway. The nationwide marketing campaign will continue to use a wide range of channels to reach employers, including radio, social media, digital, and outdoor advertising.
Phase 2 will build on activity to date, continuing to raise awareness and understanding that there is a new immigration system. The key messages to communicate to businesses are that free movement has now ended and there are new requirements with which audiences must comply. The way UK businesses hire from the EU is changing, and to recruit from outside the UK they will need to be a licensed sponsor.
Please visit the campaign page for more information: GOV.UK/HiringFromTheEU.
Translated information for EU nationals is available here – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-information-for-eu-citizens
The Home Office has also launched a podcast for businesses which explains the new immigration system and how employers can prepare. The podcast is available to listen via:
Acast , Apple or Spotify
GCA Survey finds improvement across the board despite challenging year
According to the eighth GCA annual survey, retailers are performing at a high level. As well as a new record low in the number of suppliers who experienced Code-related issues in the past year (down to 29% compared to 36% in 2020), suppliers reported a fall in all issues covered by the Code with one exception. Mark White, Groceries Code Adjudicator said, “In 2021 suppliers see more retailers performing at high levels. It really is now extremely tight at the top with more than half the retailers scoring 95% or more (compared with one in 2020). Read more here.
The British Nutrition Foundation invites everyone of all ages and in all settings to join us for Healthy Eating Week from 14-18 June! Nurseries, schools, universities, workplaces, communities and individuals and families – why not register and get involved.
We have a collection of resources, videos, trackers and activity packs to help you ‘Find your healthier you’.
This year we are focussing on five exciting themes:
- Know the facts – information, advice and myth busting.
- Make a healthier choice – tips and tools to make better choices.
- Plan for success – ways to plan healthier meals and menus.
- Be the chef – how to cook healthier options, with links to recipes and ideas.
- Keep moving – promoting the importance of being active for health.
UK Government advice on our new relationship & trading with the EU
On 8 June the UK Government published advice setting out the UK’s new relationship with the EU following the end of the EU-UK transition period. The guidance sets out what has changed, what remains the same and the role of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in our new relationship with the EU. The Government is also running webinars from July to September on changes to the rules governing the importing of food and drink, including composite food and fishery products, from the EU to Great Britain from 1 October 2021. HMRC has also posted a series of videos providing guidance for businesses involved in trade with the EU.
FSS publishes guides to help businesses provide healthier food options
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has published a series of short new guides for businesses, to support them with sourcing, preparing, promoting and serving healthier options for customers as part of the food sector’s reopening and recovery from Covid-19. The guides provide advice on healthier catering and children’s menus for restaurants, takeaways and sandwich shops. A FSS consultation on improvements to food eaten out of home, found that 79% of respondents were supportive of reducing excessive calorie contents by changing recipes. A further 73% were in favour of reducing portion size, and 95% thought that consumers should be able to access small or half portions.
MP highlights value of whole grain foods in a healthy diet
In addition to drawing attention to International Whole Grain Day, the Labour Shadow Public Health Minister, Alex Norris, has asked the Government if it plans to introduce a quantitative recommendation for the daily intake of whole grains. In response the Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill, said that Public Health England has no plans to recommend that the UK Government introduces a quantitative recommendation for the daily intake of “wholegrains”, not least because there is no agreed definition for the term. There are, however, specific Government recommendations for dietary fibre based on recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), as set out in its Carbohydrates and Health report. The UK Government dietary advice, as depicted by the Eatwell Guide, is that we should choose wholegrain or higher fibre versions of starchy carbohydrates wherever possible. Fibre intake is assessed by the National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Responding to a further question from Mr Norris, Jo Churchill drew attention to the latest data for the period 2016/17 to 2018/19, which shows that mean fibre intakes were below recommendations in all age groups. Only 9% of adults, 4% of children aged 11 to 18 years and 14% of children aged 4 to 10 years met the recommendation for fibre intake.
Health Committee endorse Susan Jebb for FSA Chair
The Government’s preferred candidate for the Chair of the Food Standards Agency position, Susan Jebb, gave evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee this week as part of the pre-appointment process. The Committee has since published their report stating that they are satisfied that she has “the professional competence and personal independence required of the Chair of the Food Standards Agency” and that they “are pleased to endorse her appointment and wish her well for her tenure as Chair.”
In her evidence to the Committee, she clarified that “I think it is important for all concerned that I avoid any direct conversations with the food industry, outside my potential FSA role, to reduce the risk of real or perceived conflicts of interest.” She also referred to an upcoming Food Bill where there will be an opportunity to identify “where we want the FSA to do more”. We are currently clarifying her comments around the Food Bill, as such a Bill was not set out in the Queen’s Speech. We will keep members updated on her appointment.
Since that evidence session the FSA has confirmed Susan Jebbs appointment as from 1st July.