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Category Archives: Retailing

We were too busy watching the Olympics to go shopping

There was a surprise fall in retail sales in August as we turned into a nation of couch potatoes and just watched events unfold in London. According to the British Retail Consortium, retail sales fell by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from the same month in 2011. The only good note was that there was a slight increase in spending … Continue reading

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Slump in UK retail sales

There was a surprising fall of 1.4% in retail sales in May. There had been a rise of 1.1% in April, but the Office for National Statistics put that down to a combination of the royal wedding and the number of Bank holidays added to the fine weather. But, the fall during May was the steepest since January 2010, and … Continue reading

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Temporary rebound in retail sales?

Well, yes, retail sales volumes did increase by 1.1% in April compared to March. And yes, this was the biggest rise in retail sales since April 2002. But…. sales volume in the three months to April did only grow by 0.2%. It seems that the growth was only just a temporary blip mainly fuelled by the unseasonably warm weather and … Continue reading

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Surprise fall in UK inflation rate

The Consumer Prices Index fell to 4.0% in March from 4.4% in February, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics. This came as a big surprise to most analysts as it was expected that the index would continue to push up to the 5% mark. It seems that we have to be thankful to falls in food … Continue reading

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Is the jump in retail sales merely an illusion?

The volume of retail sales rose by 1.9% in January compared to the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was after the December figure was revised downwards from an earlier estimate of a fall of 0.8% to a corrected figure of minus 1.4%. This was the biggest December fall since records began. When we examine … Continue reading

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Retail sales fall in December

Retail sales volumes fell by 0.8% in December. This meant there was no change in retail sales compared to December 2009 and this was the worst December figure on record. Food stores saw a fall of 3.4% on an annual basis, which is the lowest figure since records began in 1988. Non-food stores performed better, with an annual rise of … Continue reading

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VAT has now risen to 20% in the UK

The rate of Value Added Tax went up at midnight from 17.5% to 20.0%. This move was flagged in advance by the coalition government as being a necessary part of their austerity measures. On the one hand they are slashing spending across most government departments and on the other hand they are trying to raise taxes as well in an … Continue reading

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Commodities to blame for higher shop prices

Food inflation increased to 4.0% in September, from 3.8% in August, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – Nielsen Shop Price Index, published today. Non-food inflation also rose to 0.7% from 0.5% in August. Overall shop price inflation increased to 1.9% in September from 1.7% in the previous month, which took it to its highest rate for five months. … Continue reading

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Sharp fall in retail sales

Retail sales volume fell by 1.8% between December 2009 and January 2010. This represents the largest decrease in a single month since June 2008 when it was 2.5%. Stores which predominantly sell food showed a fall of 2.4%, whilst predominantly non-food stores showed zero growth. Within this latter category, there was an increase in textile, clothing and footwear stores of … Continue reading

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Lending to UK businesses remains weak

A study by the Bank of England entitled “Trends in Lending” has just been published. This shows that net lending to businesses has remained weak. The official data covers lending by all banks and building societies and shows that the monthly flow of net lending in March 2009 was “subdued, though positive.”  When looking at the three month annualised growth … Continue reading

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