April Retail Sales Burgeon

21 May 2001

British consumers remain insouciant about fears of a global recession, according to figures issued last week by the UK government’s Office for National Statistics.

Retail sales figures for April, 6.3% up in sterling value year-on-year, rose at their fastest annual rate since spring 1998, although inflation jumped to 0.4% after previous consistent falls.

But underscoring Brits’ overall optimism, sales also rose 5.9% in volume – the largest rise since the beginning of 2000 – while the labour market remained tight with falls in manufacturing employment offset by growth in the services sector.

Sales growth in textiles, clothing and footwear hit their highest level since records began fifteen years ago. However, this was not matched by growth in indigenous manufacturing, especially in textiles, clothing and leather – all hit by rising imports fanned by the strength of the pound.

News source: Financial Times