LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales unexpectedly edged into July, helped by the strongest growth in online spending over the three years, as consumers continue to support the economy before the Nov. 31 Brexit-term.
A FILE PHOTO of Shoppers at the Boxing Day sales on Oxford Street in central London, Britain, 26 December, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The monthly retail sales volumes grew by 0.2%, following a 0.9 percent increase in June, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday, beating the average forecast is for a 0.2% decline in a Reuters poll of economists.
In comparison to July 2018, with sales up 3.3%, slowing down from 3.8% in June, but at the top end of forecasts.
The uk economy contracted in the second quarter, as a hangover from stockpiling prior to the original March 29, Brexit-term, in spite of the strong growth in household spending.
Thursday’s data suggested consumers continued to take a Brexit in their stride, helped by a modest rate of inflation and wages are growing at their fastest rate in 11 years.
This has helped the world’s fifth-largest economy at a time when many companies have had to invest as a result of the heightened uncertainty about Brexit.
Sterling showed little reaction to Thursday’s data, which is in contrast to the British Retail Consortium survey showed that spending fell in the year to July, the fastest pace on record for the month.
“Retailers are not to be carried away by OUR numbers,” Karen Johnson, head of retail at Barclays Corporate Banking, said.
“They have to continue to be aware of the threat of Brexit threat, and the potential impact on the global supply chain, with the possibility of increasing the cost, and the price is rising on the horizon.”
In the three months to July, it said retail sales grew by 0.5%, the smallest increase this year, as a result of a decrease in sales volumes in May.
“While it’s still in decline over the quarter, there was an increase in the number of sales in department stores in July, for the first time this year,” OUR statistics Rhian Murphy said. “Strong online sales growth for the month was as a result of a promotion.”
Online sales jumped 6.9% on the month, their biggest increase in volume terms in 2016. In the Amazon, held its annual “First Day” sales promotion last month, and is a key driver of revenue for the company.
However, household goods stores reported their biggest monthly drop in revenue in two years, down 5.4%. Anecdotal evidence suggests warm weather had kept shoppers out of the furniture and lighting stores.
A stable rate of inflation, with the strongest rise in salaries since 2008, and some of the lowest rates of unemployment since the mid-1970s, and continued to boost household incomes, even though, after inflation, wages are still below their highs from before the financial crisis.
However, there are signs that consumers may turn more cautious in the Uk the political crisis in drag. The household savings in comparison to the income is not far off record low levels.
The news from retailers was mixed. Fashion chain and shrugged his shoulders in the united Kingdom, the retail gloom on Wednesday, reporting a surprising rise in full-price sales.
But, a baby products retailer Mothercare, the guilt of an uncertain and volatile home market, fragile consumer confidence as reasons as to why it would not report an increase in their annual income.
Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by Larry King