Five of Britain's sectors where business is booming

British holiday
By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

18 October 2016

Eleanor O'Neill takes a look at some of the UK business sectors where business is booming.

1. Sharing services

A report from O2 Business and the Centre of Economic and Business Research (Cebr) found that the sharing economy is the top growth sector in the UK, due to services like Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb.

Finance, accommodation, transportation and on-demand sharing services are currently worth a collective £7bn to the UK economy. PwC has predicted that the sharing sector will grow by 30% a year, reaching a value of £140bn by 2025.

Businesses that have been founded on the idea of the sharing economy include, that allows dog owners to share their pets for walks and holidays, Olio, that brings neighbours together to reduce food waste, and TaskRabbit, that enables the hiring of 'taskers' for errands and housework.

Earlier this year, the Government announced a new sharing economy tax break to let people earn £2,000 tax free from sites such as AirBnB and eBay, effective from 2017.

2. Retail therapy

British shoppers have been seemingly unconcerned with the impact of Brexit as retail sales rebounded a month after the referendum, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The first official figures on consumer behaviour following the 23 June poll indicated that sales rose by 1.4% in July after a 0.9% drop in June. These results were much stronger than the 0.2% increase predicted by economists but echoed industry reports of solid growth in consumer spending during the warmer weather months.

Retail sales volumes were up 5.9% compared to the same period last year as all sectors recorded growth with the main contribution coming from non-food stores. The amount spent online increased by 16.7% compared with July 2015.

Whether the trend continues remains to be seen, particularly as inflation rates are higher than predicted.

3. Thinking creatively

The UK's creative industries now account for 1.9 million jobs, up almost 20% since 2011. Figures released in January of this year also show that the sector is now worth a record £84.1bn to the UK economy.

'Creative industries' refers to a wide range of business sub-sectors, including advertising and marketing, IT and computing services, graphic and product design, architecture and entertainment production.

Exports of services from these industries accounted for 9% of total service exports from the UK in 2014 and were valued at £19.8bn, an increase of 10.9% from the year before.

4. Driving growth

Production in the UK car manufacturing industry hit a 12-year high in the first half of 2016 with more than a million units produced for the foreign and domestic markets.

Data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed a 7.6% increase in manufacturing between January and July compared to the same period last year.

The increase in production was driven by higher demand, with exports rising 6% year-on-year since 2004. Output for the domestic market was also 14% higher than in the corresponding period a year ago.

Annual car production is expected to pass the two million milestone by 2020, breaking the current record of 1.92 million cars set in 1972, though this is dependent on global market conditions.

5. Staycations

A survey from Barclays Business found that 70% of adults in the UK have been on or are planning on holidaying on local shores in 2016. The 'staycation' economy has become one of Britain's strongest with a 6% growth in consumer spending since last year. Is it predicted to get bigger as the pound continues to decline against the euro?

Small and medium businesses in the UK’s accommodation and food services sectors have seen a 30% increase in turnover since 2012 to £50bn, making growth 10% above the SME average.

Melia Hotels recently indicated that the current value of the pound is also encouraging more foreign travellers to choose the UK as a holiday destination. Holidays to the British Isles for US dollar and euro earners now appear around 10% cheaper and will remain attractive while the pound is unstable.


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