General Election 2017 Sees Biggest Dip In Online Spending Ahead Of Brexit Anniversary
- Ecommerce data experts PCA Predictanalysed 10 key moments relating to Brexit in the past year to uncover any effects on online consumer spending
- From 2016-2017 the average daily ecommerce purchases totalled 3,923,336, however, during these ten key Brexit dates this purchasing level was almost 60% lower
UK: To tie in with the one year anniversary of the European Union (EU) Referendum, new research today reveals how UK online shoppers reacted to key stages in the Brexit timeline over the past year.
The research from ecommerce data experts PCA Predict (a GBG company), analysed 10 key moments in the Brexit timeline for levels of online shopping among British consumers.
From 2016-2017, UK consumers, on a daily average, made 3,923,336 purchases online, according to PCA Predict. However, when this average is compared against key dates related to Brexit, consumers consistently held back on making purchases on these dates.
PCA Predict found that:
- Brexit’s Effect On Shopping:
- The recent (i) General Election (08/06/17) saw the lowest level of online purchases, just 1,579,670 – a drop of 59% against the daily average
- This was followed by:
- (ii) The day referendum results were announced (24/06/17) – 1,642,100 purchases were made in the UK – a drop of 58% against the daily average
- (iii) EU’s European Affairs ministers approve the European Commission’s negotiating proposals, giving Michel Barnier a mandate to start the process (22/05/17) – 1,673,510 purchases were made – a drop of 57% against the daily average
- (iv) The day Article 50 was triggered (29/03/17) – 1,688,450 purchases were made – a drop of 56% against the daily average
- (v) The government introduces a 137-word bill in Parliament to win the right to trigger Brexit (26/01/17) – 1,784,710 purchases were made- a drop of 54% against the daily average
- A full summary is below in ‘Notes To Editors’ regarding the other dates
- Sector: The fashion sector, across all of these key Brexit dates, performed consistently the best for online purchases, followed by the food and beverage industry
- Highest Shopping Day: The day the Supreme Court convened to decide whether Parliament or the Prime Minister had the power to invoke Article 50 (05/12/16), saw the highest level of shopping online in the UK. Over 3,581,000 purchases were made by British consumers, far above other Brexit-related dates, however, this also coincided with the run up to Christmas when online purchases are normally significantly higher
PCA Predict’s address verification service is used by over 11,000 leading ecommerce brands including ASOS, Tesco and House of Fraser. This research is based off the billions of online purchase transactions that PCA Predict’s platform facilitates each day and this data is compiled by the company’s Ecommerce Trends tool.
Chris Boaz, Head of Marketing, of PCA Predict said: “Currently British consumers spend more than any other shoppers in Europe, accounting for nearly one third of all online purchases. Yet as our data shows, Brexit has seemingly shook consumers’ confidence.”
“This has serious implications for online retailers and shows how hard they now need to work to not only gain, but also retain customers. If a consumer can’t easily purchase something online, via the checkout, then a retailer is in trouble.”
“Retailers can simplify this checkout experience by using smart address verification technology to ensure a parcel arrives to the correct address. Such technology speeds up the checkout process by minimising the amount of manual typing needed while ensuring the data entered is valid. This is crucial as in a separate piece of research we found that nearly half of consumers told us they would abandon purchases if the checkout process is too long.”
Boeing cites risks in design of newest Airbus jet
By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) – Boeing Co has raised concerns over the design of arch-rival Airbus’ newest narrow-body jet, the A321XLR, saying a novel type of fuel tank could pose fire risks.
The U.S. plane giant’s intervention is not without precedent in a global system that regularly allows manufacturers to chime in whenever safety rules are being interpreted in a way that might affect the rest of the industry.
But it comes at a pivotal moment as Boeing emerges from a two-year safety crisis over its competing 737 MAX, and Airbus faces its own crucial test of the tougher mood expected from regulators worldwide following the MAX’s 20-month grounding.
In a submission to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Boeing said the architecture of a fuel tank intended to increase the A321XLR’s range “presents many potential hazards.”
The debate surrounds the hot-selling A321XLR’s main marketing point – the longest range of any single-aisle jet.
In most jets, fuel is carried in wings and central tanks.
To meet demand for longer routes, Airbus has already added optional extra fuel tanks inside the cargo bay of some A321s.
For the A321XLR, Airbus plans to eke out more space for fuel by moulding one tank directly into the fuselage, meaning its shape would follow the contours of the jet and carry more fuel.
The concept caught the attention of EASA which in January said it would impose special conditions to keep passengers safe.
“An integral fuselage fuel tank exposed to an external fire, if not adequately protected, may not provide enough time for the
passengers to safely evacuate the aircraft,” it said.
In comments to EASA first reported by Flightglobal, Boeing cited risks if a jet veers off a runway or its wheels fail.
“Public consultation is part-and-parcel of an aircraft development programme,” an Airbus spokesman said, adding any issues raised would be tackled together with regulators.
Such technical exchanges rarely capture attention. But a battered aerospace industry is on edge after the MAX crisis, compounded by COVID-19, shook confidence in aviation.
Commercial stakes are also high.
One industry source familiar with the project warned any extended wrangle over certification could delay the A321XLR’s service entry from “late 2023” to 2024 or beyond.
Should that happen, sources say Boeing is expected to encourage airlines to wait a few years longer for a potential all-new model that insiders say would leapfrog the A321XLR.
While insisting they never compete on safety, Airbus and Boeing have a record of goading each other in the past over issues like novel flight computers on the Airbus A320 or European claims that four engines were safer than the 777’s two.
Fuel tanks have provoked particularly sharp disagreement.
In 2001, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration triggered changes to the design of fuel tanks worldwide, five years after a Boeing 747 exploded in mid-air.
Investigators said TWA 800 was brought down by a fuel-tank explosion in the presence of unwanted oxygen, but Airbus officials maintained their own jets were less at risk.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; Additional reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
UK extends furlough scheme by five months, gives more help to self-employed
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will extend its huge job-protecting furlough programme by five months until the end of September and expand parallel support for the self-employed, finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to announce in a budget speech on Wednesday.
Workers covered by the furlough scheme – currently about one in five private-sector employees – will continue to receive 80% of their salary for hours not worked.
But employers will have to start contributing to the cost as the economy reopens from lockdown, paying 10% of the hours their staff do not work in July, rising to 20% in August and September, the ministry said.
“Our COVID support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK,” Sunak was due to say in his budget speech to parliament, according to excerpts sent to media by the finance ministry.
“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) had been due to expire at the end of April, raising fears of a sharp jump in unemployment at a time when the economy is still likely to be struggling under the weight of coronavirus restrictions.
The Confederation of British Industry welcomed the move. “Extending the scheme will keep millions more in work and give businesses the chance to catch their breath as we carefully exit lockdown,” CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said.
The CJRS will cost 70 billion pounds ($98 billion) between its launch in March last year during the onset of the pandemic and the end of April, according to estimates made last month by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
Sunak is also due to announce on Wednesday that a further 600,000 self-employed workers will become eligible for government support. Until now the government had only allowed applications from workers who were self-employed in the 2018-19 tax year, but eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be expanded to those who first reported being self-employed in 2019-20.
A fourth SEISS grant for the self-employed will be available from next month worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits up to 7,500 pounds in total, and details of a fifth grant would be provided on Wednesday, the ministry said.
(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Catherine Evans)
German exports to UK fell almost a third in January as Brexit hit
By Paul Carrel and Rene Wagner
BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports to the United Kingdom fell by 30% on the year in January as the impact of Brexit turned Europe’s largest economy away from the UK, exacerbating the hit to business from the coronavirus pandemic, official figures showed on Tuesday.
The UK left the European Union’s single market at the end of last year, raising barriers to trade. That final split followed more than four years of wrangling over its terms of exit from the EU, during which German businesses had already begun to reduce their interactions with Britain.
“Since 2016 – the year of the Brexit referendum – German exports to the UK have steadily declined,” Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said in a comment on the preliminary figures. It did not give a sector-by-sector breakdown.
The Office attributed the January slump to “the effects of Brexit after the year 2020, which was marked by the Corona pandemic.”
The impact of COVID-19 meant that the UK economy was smaller in January than a year earlier. The International Monetary Fund estimates that the UK and euro zone economies will not return to their pre-pandemic levels until next year.
Ahead of formal departure from the EU on Dec. 31, British businesses rushed to bring goods into the country – stockpiling that often results in a dip in activity later.
The January slump in bilateral trade compared with a more modest decline in December 2020, when German exports to the UK fell by 3.3% on the year, to 5.0 billion euros, and imports from the UK dropped 11.4% to 2.8 billion euros.
Gabriel Felbermayr, president of the IfW economic institute in Kiel, said the January export slump was probably an “outlier” as the pandemic slowed trade, and as exporters adjusted to new customs formalities.
“In the long term, we assume that German exports to the UK will be 10% below the level expected without Brexit,” Felbermayr told Reuters.
The Brexit deal is “far removed from the rules of the single market” in the EU and will dampen trade, he added, with many firms on the continent having already reorganised supply chains and scaled back business with Britain.
New customs rules which took effect in January have increased the cost and complexity of trade between Britain and the EU, especially for smaller firms, and caused delays to freight at the borders.
In 2020 as a whole, German exports to the UK fell by 15.5% compared to 2019, recording the biggest year-on-year decline since the financial and economic crisis in 2009, when they fell by 17.0%, the Office said.
In 2015 German exports to the UK amounted to 89.0 billion euros. In 2020, German they totalled 66.9 billion euros.
Imports to Germany from the UK totalled 34.7 billion euros in 2020, down 9.6 % compared to 2019.
(Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Catherine Evans)
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