The latest figures on the economy

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As the lockdown gradually eases, the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicators for the UK economy and society show some positive news about the reopening of the economy.

Estimates for UK seated diner reservations on April 12, 2021 were at 79% of their level seen on the equivalent Monday of 2019.

This is the first time the level has exceeded 2% since before the announcement of the latest lockdown in England on January 4, 2021 and coincides with the easing of hospitality restrictions in England on April 12, 2021 (OpenTable).

Total UK online job adverts on April 9, 2021 equalled their February 2020 average level to become the highest level seen since March 6, 2020; this was partly driven by a notable increase to the catering and hospitality category, which also reached its highest level since March 2020 (Adzuna).

There were 25,320 new VAT reporters in March 2021, the highest number of new reporters seen since August 2016 when there were 26,440 (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)).

In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2021, a net 1% of 287,880 firms reported an increase in turnover at the total industry level when compared with the previous quarter (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)).

Retail footfall was strongest in the West Midlands and the East of England in the week to April 10, 2021, each at 46% of their level in the equivalent week of 2019; retail footfall was weakest in Northern Ireland at 35% of its level in the equivalent week of 2019 (Springboard).

There were 17,881 company incorporations and 5,059 voluntary dissolution applications in the week to 9 April 2021, a 19% increase and 2% decrease from the previous week, respectively (Companies House).

Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Chester & Wrexham - 01244 343504,