July’s UK retail sales rise

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BRITISH retail sales rose in July, slightly beating expectations, official data showed yesterday, even though household incomes are still feeling the squeeze from a Brexit-fueled slump in the pound.

Overall retail sales grew by 0.3 percent last month, buoyed by robust food purchases, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

That was the same rate of growth as in June and slightly faster than analysts’ forecast for a 0.2 percent rise.

“Strong food sales have been responsible for the growth of 0.3 percent in July compared with June, as all other main sectors have shown a decrease,” said ONS senior statistician Ole Black.

Analysts said the outlook remained clouded by Brexit uncertainties.

“Spending has defied expectations of a slowdown since the Brexit referendum, and currently seems to be holding up despite weak wage growth and above-target inflation,” said Hargreaves Lansdown economist, Ben Brettell.

“This could bode well for economic growth. The UK economy is heavily reliant on the consumer, and economists had expected falling real incomes to eventually translate into weak retail sales,” he said.

Source