Blog: Leonie BarrieHere comes summer…

Leonie Barrie | 8 June 2004

I intended to head into the office yesterday, but instead spent a large chunk of the day - one of the UK’s hottest so far - stuck in a seven mile tailback on the motorway. Not a great start to the week. An early morning accident led to the road being shut for about six hours, and I (along with thousands of others) effectively lost half the day – although I did manage to while away the time with a couple of phone calls. Perhaps spurred by the D-Day commemorations over the week-end, a kind of blitz spirit came to the fore with truckers sharing cups of tea, drivers videotaping the queues and joking with complete strangers as they sat in the sunshine waiting for the traffic to start moving again!

Ironically one of the day’s lead stories suggested that the sunshine is also starting to heat up the UK’s economy, with high street sales in May growing at their fastest rate for four months. As seems to be the norm these days, clothing and footwear topped the list of best sellers. It also looks likely that the Bank of England will increase interest rates again in an attempt to stall this growth. But maybe the warm weather will do it for them…previous experience shows that consumers soon tire of shopping during hot weather and choose instead to spend more time in other outdoor activities.

UK: May Retail Sales Rise 6.5% On Warmer Weather


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