The service industry holds the pillar of the British economy: lacks up to 100,000 truck drivers

Translation and commentary: Jenny Ball
Editor: peacelv

IHS Markit published on October 22nd that the initial activity value of the UK Composite Activity Index for October was 56. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Financial data services company IHS Markit and the Royal Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) announced the latest initial value of the British Composite Output Index on the 22nd local time. The value recorded in October was 56.8, compared with the previous month. The value of 54.9 has increased, and the value is higher than the critical line of 50, which reflects that the economy is in a state of expansion. The market forecast is 54.0.

From October 2018 to October 2021, the trend of the UK Composite Output Index. (Source: IHS Markit/Epoch Times Graphics)

This composite index is composed of two major sub-items, namely Manufacturing Output Index and Services Business Activity Index. The initial value of the former was recorded at 50.6, while the latter market called it the service industry PMI, which recorded 58.0, which was higher than the expected 54.5. In addition, the October initial value of manufacturing PMI was 57.7, which was higher than the previous month’s 57.1, and the market forecast was 55.8.

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said: “The UK economy regained momentum in October, but its expansion is increasingly dependent on the service industry, and this part of business activities is likely to be blocked as the number of confirmed infection cases rises.”

The service industry accounts for 80% of the British economy. Since the unblock of pandemic restriction from July 19, economic activities such as entertainment, sports, celebrations and hotels are rapidly restarting. However, on the other side, Brexit has disrupted the labour market and caused problems such as the lack of a large number of truck drivers in the country. Coupled with the pandemic, it is difficult for the supply chain to operate as smoothly as it used to be. According to estimates by the Road Haulage Association, there are as many as 100,000 vacancies for qualified truck drivers.

According to market analysis, many British companies are now facing a structural increase in input prices. The shortage of people and stocks has begun to penetrate into the bone, and the economy has entered a “stagflation” state, that is, the harsh situation of declining output and rising prices.

CIPS Group Director Duncan Brock pointed out that 64% of the supply chain managers interviewed said that the transportation time was longer than before, and the price of energy and raw materials rose at the fastest rate since January 1992.

The survey statistics cover approximately 1,300 manufacturing and service companies, and the results of the questionnaire survey were collected from October 12 to 20. The survey mainly asked about the company’s monthly comparison of changes in business volume. 50 is the watershed of PMI, above 50 reflects economic expansion, and below 50 reflects economic shrink.


Miles Guo mentioned many months before that in the future, the labour jobs would be the best paid while the white collar job would be insignificant. Such situation has been the situation in UK already. And this situation will deteriorate worser once the vaccination disaster break out from the end of 2021 to mid 2022. We have to be prepared for the basic livelihood from now on.

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