Our latest snapshot of key economic indicators show retail sales falling, job losses soaring, GDP growth and stock market stalling
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The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections has rapidly escalated across the UK in the past month, fuelled by a faster-spreading variant of the virus in the south-east of England. In response, Boris Johnson launched tougher tier 4 lockdown restrictions for much of London and the south-east, cancelling the Christmas plans of millions of people just days after saying such a move would be “inhuman”. Devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also launched tougher restrictions. After declining during the second national lockdown in England in November, the seven-day average of new cases has risen to a record high of 29,812 as of 15 December. The number of deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test – which lags behind infections – has increased to a seven-day average of 398, below a peak of almost 1,000 in early April.