Blog: UK retail recovers at snails pace

Joe Ayling | 22 July 2010

A very slim increase in June sales might just be as good as it gets for UK retailers, analysts are suggesting.

Sales volumes rose by 1.3% compared to June last year, which at first glance appears quite measly.

Until, that is, you read that leading analysts at BNP Paribas and Barclays are predicting worse to come, with household spending on the decline and a VAT rise lurking...

And then you realise that the rise is not only measly, but also likely to be short-lived.

It is noteworthy that clothing sales have grown ahead of most sectors during the year so far, with shoppers going out for a bargain more than ever.

Perhaps strangest of all though, is the notion that England's dismal performance in last month's FIFA World Cup actually had a positive effect on spending.

Indeed, Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays Corporate said: "June was a very strong month for retailers as the World Cup and warmer weather encouraged consumers to spend on electricals, garden furniture and clothing."

If there is any truth in this then new Chancellor George Osborne really does have his work cut out in gauging the nation's mood.


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