The Bank of England has published the November 2020 Monetary Policy Report and the Q4 Agents’ Summary of Business Condition, the links to which are below.
PDF version of the MPR:
The Bank of England has published the October 2020 Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions:
Barclays Economic Update: UK manufacturing pmi decreased to 53.7 in oct’20
According to data published by ihs markit⁄cips, seasonally adjusted UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (pmi) decreased to 53.7 in oct’20 from 54.1 in sep’20.
The report indicated that manufacturing output increased in oct’20, despite growth easing to a four-month low. The output growth reflected improved intakes of new work and companies delivering orders that were delayed during lockdown.
In terms of sectors, intermediate and investment goods industries reported increases in production and new order volumes in oct’20. however, the consumer goods sector reported a decrease in output and new orders during the same period.
Input costs increased in oct’20, primarily due to higher raw material costs, input shortages and an increase in prices by suppliers. a portion of the increased costs have been transferred by the manufacturers to clients in the form of output charges.
Eurozone manufacturing pmi increased to 54.8 in oct’20
According to data published by ihs markit⁄cips, seasonally adjusted Eurozone manufacturing pmi increased to 54.8 in oct’20 from 53.7 in sep’20. The report indicated continued improvement in the manufacturing sector in oct’20.
An increase in new orders reflected growth in demand from domestic as well as export markets. Additionally, manufacturers increased their purchasing activity in oct’20. This led to suppliers facing challenges in meeting the increased demand as indicated by the increase in lead times.
Output growth was reported by all three major sectors. While investment and intermediate goods sectors recorded considerable growth, consumer goods producers recorded modest growth.
In terms of regional output, Germany recorded the highest growth in regional output and new orders. Germany recorded the highest manufacturing pmi in oct’20 at 58.2, followed by Austria at 54.0, Italy at 53.8, Spain at 52.5 and France at 51.3. PMI for Greece stood at 48.7, being the only region to record a decline in operating conditions.
COVID-19 guidance for food businesses
The Government has updated COVID-19 guidance for food businesses in line with national restrictions commencing 5 November 2020. Simplified guidance on working safely in food processing and production settings has also been updated.
Food and drink labelling changes from 1 January 2021
Defra guidance on food and drink labelling changes from 1 January 2021 has been updated to add more detail to country of origin labels and food business operator (FBO) address sections.
Agriculture Bill and Trade and Agriculture Commission
MPs have for a second time overturned measures from peers aimed at protecting UK food standards in future trade deal. The House of Commons voted 331 to 272, to disagree with a House of Lords amendment to the Agriculture Bill which sought to ensure imported foodstuffs met equivalent benchmarks to those followed by UK producers. This would have related to animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety. Instead, MPs backed a Government amendment to the Bill to increase parliamentary scrutiny of free trade agreements and for extra detail on how measures are consistent with maintaining UK standards. The House of Lords will consider the Commons amendments on 9 November 2020.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss MP has extended the Trade and Agriculture Commission and placed it on a full statutory footing. The Commission was initially launched for a six-month period in July to bring together voices from across the sector and report back to inform top-level trade policy and negotiations. Since then it has heard from dozens of experts on farming, animal welfare, the environment and trade, called for evidence from hundreds of key voices across the industry, as well as engaging local farmers, producers, businesses and MPs across the UK through a series of virtual regional roadshows.
Separately, the Trade and Agriculture Commission has published an interim progress update. On 1 October the Secretariat, on behalf of the Commission, launched an online survey with 6 questions focused on the key areas of the Commission’s work. An additional briefing / update will be held for MPs on 12 November and for Peers on 18 November.
Grocery Code Adjudicator Newsletter: The latest edition, introducing the new GCA, Mark White can read online.
Sustainability: The Courtauld 2025 Annual Report is published today, demonstrating the progress being made across all three targets – food waste, carbon and water – in a challenging year for food and drink.
FDF Convention: We are delighted to announce a new two day FDF Convention taking place virtually across 1 – 2 December 2020. Join us on Tuesday 1 December for our first session focusing on Sustainable Healthy Diets, Climate & Carbon Net Zero, and Plastics & Packaging. Our second session takes place on Wednesday 2 December and will cover three key topics; The Food and Drink Manufacturing Sector: Immediate Needs for an Automated and Digitised Future?; Commercial Focus: How the industry can regain commercial ground in 2021; and the key issues for Scotland and Wales. Register for Day One here or Day Two here.
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In our email earlier this week on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), we promised to share any further information with you as soon as it became available.
Today the Chancellor has announced that CJRS will be extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK. For claim periods running to 31 January 2021, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The UK Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
It was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.
What you need to do now
If you intend to claim under the CJRS, please look at information published today on how you can check if you’re eligible to claim, and what you need to agree with your employees. You can find this on GOV.UK by searching ‘Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.
This latest information applies for CJRS claim periods from 1 November 2020. The final date for claims for the period up to 31 October is still 30 November 2020.
The full guidance for claims from November onwards, including more information on how to calculate a claim, will be published on GOV.UK on Tuesday, and we’ll send you another update to confirm this. Claims can be made from 11 November 2020.
Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to CJRS, and how they affect you, are available to book online – go to GOV.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.
Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to email@example.com and texts to 60599.
Access the National Cyber Security Centre’s new guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber crime by searching ‘Cyber Aware’ on GOV.UK.
I hope this information helps you and your business.
Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary – HMRC
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Spot checks continue as further coronavirus restrictions start
As further coronavirus restrictions are introduced, HSE is continuing its programme of spot checks and inspections on workplaces ensuring they are COVID-secure.
HSE continues to call and visit workplaces, often unannounced, and put employers on the spot to make sure they are following government guidelines on being COVID-secure.
During the spot inspections, the inspectors provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers and visitors, but where businesses are not managing this, they will take immediate action. This can include the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, could lead to prosecution.
Being COVID-secure means businesses need to keep up to date with the latest guidance and put measures in place to manage the risk to workers and others.
More information on spot checks and inspections and and guidance on being COVID-secure is available.
Protecting vulnerable workers during the coronavirus pandemic
Employers must consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and put controls in place to reduce that risk.
Our website has advice and guidance on how to protect vulnerable workers during the pandemic (updated to reflect the new national restrictions in England).
This includes the latest information on:
- Supporting workers in higher-risk groups
- Accessing COVID-secure precautions
- Clinically extremely vulnerable workers
- Supporting clinically extremely vulnerable workers returning to work
- Pregnant workers
For all the latest information and advice on health and safety during the pandemic, please visit our coronavirus pages.
Updated coronavirus guidance from BEIS relating to national restrictions
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published the following guidance relating to national restrictions…
Further guidance on the restrictions is available on GOV.UK, while information is also available on current restrictions in Scotland and Wales.
NHS COVID-19 app update
NHS COVID-19 app users are now benefitting from updates to the app that make it more accurate and user-friendly.
The app, which has now been downloaded 19 million times by around 40% of adults with eligible smartphones, will be updated to better estimate distance between users to increase the accuracy of close-contact notifications sent out by the app.
The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community. The more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.
You can download the app here.