Britain’s Consumers Still Spending

14 September 2001

August saw a higher than expected rise in UK retail sales, suggesting that British consumers have so far remained unperturbed by the threat of recession.

Volume sales rose 0.5%, a year-on-year rise of 6.3%. The value of sales lagged slightly with a 0.3% increase due to widespread price cuts. On average, consumers spent £4.08 billion per week last month.

Non-store sales – including mail order and online retailing – fell 3.2% during August, the only major sector to register a drop, though this did follow a 5.7% jump the month before.

The new figures may yet again deter the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee from reducing interest rates, despite expectations that such cuts might be forthcoming in light of economic uncertainty caused by events on Tuesday.

News source: The Times (London)