UK Retail Sales Growth Resumes After Coronavirus Rules Relaxed – .

UK Retail Sales Growth Resumes After Coronavirus Rules Relaxed – .

(Bloomberg) – Retail sales in the UK unexpectedly surged in June as consumers braced for the end of most coronavirus lockdown rules, adding to the momentum of the economic recovery.
The volume of merchandise sold in stores and online increased 0.5% from the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday. Economists expected a decline of 0.1%. The numbers followed an unprecedented jump in April, when most stores were allowed to fully reopen for the first time since January.

The numbers are fueling debate over the strength of Britain’s recovery after 17 months of restrictions to control the virus. Suppressed consumer spending pushed prices up across the economy, pushing inflation above the Bank of England target for the first time in nearly two years in each the last two months. Policymakers led by Governor Andrew Bailey plan to cut their stimulus measures as early as next month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson dropped many of the last remaining rules on social distancing this week, although an increase in infections is raising concerns about whether a further crackdown will be needed in the coming weeks.

Sales at food stores rebounded in June, contributing the most to the increase after falling sharply in May when consumers shifted spending to newly reopened restaurants. This may have been linked to spending around European Championship football matches.

A separate GfK survey showed consumer confidence topped its March 2020 level when the pandemic hit the UK. It has shown a big leap in a sub-measure, with buyers agreeing now is the “right time to buy”.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here