UK retail sales slow in July

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 17 Aug 2017, 15:52:18

UK retail sales slow in July

UK retail sales slow in July
British retail sales slowed as expected in July after a strong second quarter, as shoppers cut back on purchases of most things other than food, adding to worries about a fall in consumer demand.

Retail sales volumes grew by 0.3 per cent month-on-month in July, a shade above economists' forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 0.2 per cent rise, the Office for National Statistics said, and the same as a downwardly revised reading for June.

Looking at the three months to July as a whole, which smooths out monthly volatility in the data, sales growth dropped to 0.6 per cent from an unchanged 1.5 per cent for the second quarter, the strongest calendar quarter since Q3 2016.

Rising inflation has eaten into British consumers' disposable income this year, causing the weakest first quarter for retail sales since 2010, as the fall in the pound after last year's Brexit vote pushed up the cost of the imports.

Compared with a year earlier, growth in sales volumes was the slowest since November 2013 at 1.8 per cent.

Official data on Wednesday showed that wages in the second quarter were 0.5 per cent lower in real terms than in 2016, one of the biggest falls in the past three years.

Clothing sales fell by the most since December 2016 last month, after hotter than usual weather had boosted demand in June.

Furniture seller DFS said last week that it expected profits would be at the lower end of forecasts due to weak consumer demand.

Sales in cash terms were 4.1 per cent higher than July 2016, also the smallest increase since January, according to Reuters.
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