News Column

Optimism as retail sales increase

July 25, 2014


BRITISH retail sales rose between April and June at the fastest pace for a cal endar quarter in 10 years despite stagnating last month, bolstering expectations that the economy has sustained its swift pace of recovery.

Retail sales volumes rose 1.6 per cent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, a latest sign of strength in Britain's economy which has put an interest rate hike on the agenda of the Bank of England.

Still, retail sales growth for June alone disappointed, rising just 0.1 per cent from May and by 3.6 per cent compared with a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics.

That was weaker than Reuters poll forecasts for increases of 0.3 per cent and 3.9 per cent.

The ONS said a fall in clothing sales during the month was probably the result of delayed price-cutting on summer clothes by retailers who normally hold sales in June but may have held off this year due to good weather.

With retail sales accounting for just under six per cent of British economic output, economists said the quarterly figure boded well for a first reading of Britain's gross domestic product in the April-June period, which is due on Friday.

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Source: Herald, The (Scotland)

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