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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Retail sales in unexpected rise

Retail sales are one of the two statistics that seem to go against expected outcomes,  the other being house prices.  The mood of everyone seems to be darkening due, no doubt, to the following; 

Eurozone crisis
Record youth unemployment past the psychologically important 1m
Rise in companies going into administration (third quarter only however)
Consumer confidence falling
Inflation
Low growth

BUT retail sales have shown a surprise rise!  In fact, sales volumes in small stores rose 5.3% year-on-year - the biggest increase since November 2004 and there was a 0.4% rise overall.  Of course, inflation should be taken into consideration but the rise has been attributed to price cuts and early Christmas promotions.  It just goes to show that the UK shopper loves a bargain. 

Many retailers are reporting that sales are flat and they are struggling but many of these are publically listed so have to give trading updates. 

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