UK shoppers increase spending despite biting inflation According to Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-People shop on Oxford Street in London, Britain April 10, 2023. REUTERS / Anna Gordon
LONDON (Reuters) – UK retail sales rose more than expected last month and volumes in the three months to April rose by the most since mid-2021, official figures show the possibility. recovery in consumer spending despite rising inflation.
The Office for National Statistics said on Friday that April sales were up 0.5% from March when they fell 1.2% as unusually heavy rain kept shoppers at home.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that volumes would increase by 0.3% for the month.
In the February-April period, sales rose 0.8% from the previous three months, the biggest increase since the three months to August 2021.
However, retail sales in April were 3.0% lower than a year earlier, a larger drop than forecast in a Reuters poll. Food sales fell 2.7% year-on-year, a reminder of how much the cost-of-living crisis has affected household spending even though food sales fell less than last year. months before.
ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: “Retail sales rose, recovering in part from the effects of bad weather in March, with jewelers, sports retailers and department stores all have a good month.”
“Despite food prices continuing to be high, supermarkets have also recovered from the March slump. However, these were partially offset by lower fuel sales, although prices also fell. “
The rise in UK inflation has affected consumer spending in the UK. Although the rate of price growth slowed to 8.7% in April from 10.1% in March, according to data released earlier this week, the decline was smaller than expected.
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Wednesday he was concerned inflation could be “sticky and persistent” in the coming months.