UK retail sales rise points to growing economy

Rising UK retail sales figures have helped to raise hopes that the UK’s economy may be growing again.UK retail sales rise points to growing economyThe Office for National Statistics said sales volumes in July rose by 0.3%, and were up 2.8% from a year earlier.

It also revised June’s monthly sales increase up to 0.8% from 0.1%.

Analysts now believe that initial estimates that the economy shrank by 0.7% in the April-to-June quarter are overly pessimistic.

Stronger rises in factory output and the construction sector, together with continued falls in unemployment, could mean national income as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) is not shrinking as quickly as first estimated.

Figures released on Wednesday showed that the number of people out of work in the UK fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to June, with the unemployment rate dropping to 8%.

The ONS figures showed that the increase in retail sales last month was driven by fuel sales, which rose 2.6%, as supermarkets tempted motorists with promotions.

Excluding fuel, sales were unchanged, with stores continuing to cut prices to attract shoppers. However, this outcome was still better than analysts had forecast.

Food sales rose 0.4%, while sales of clothing and footwear fell 1.8%.

The ONS also said that retailers had reported no impact from the opening two days of the Olympic Games.

September 12, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Business Win, Growing Businesses, Growing Economy, Growing Sales, Uncategorized

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