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Economy in Brief

by Robert Brusca UK Retail Sales July 19, 2007

UK retail sales rise by 0.3% in June, up 0.1% in real terms excluding autos.

Real UK ex-auto sales are up at 4.7% pace in Q2.

Trends show slowing.

UK retail sales slowed at midyear as unseasonable, wet weather hampered sales. Nominal food beverage and tobacco sales fell in the month and now post a negative growth rate over three months and a clear decelerating trend over the past 12-months. The same is true for clothing and footwear expenditures with steeper decline over the recent three months and a steady deceleration from its Y/Y growth rate of 3.9% in terms of sequential growth rates.

REAL (ex-auto) sales trends, however have held up better. Although they exhibit the same slowdown characteristic as the nominal categories of retail sales on sequential growth rates, the slowdown in real sales is more technical in nature and not really very dramatic. If the weather excuse holds up we could easily see retail sales right back on track, since their slippage is so small in real terms. For the quarter real ex auto sales did well. They grew at a 4.7% annualized pace, up from 2% in Q1.

UK Real and Nominal Retail Sales
Nominal Jun-07 May-07 Apr-07 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-Mo Yr Ago
Retail Sales Ex Auto 0.3% 0.0% 0.3% 2.5% 3.5% 3.7% 2.9%
Food Beverages & Tobacco -0.5% -0.2% 0.6% -0.6% 1.1% 2.2% 4.3%
Clothing Footwear 0.5% -3.9% 2.8% -2.6% 1.3% 3.9% 2.2%
Retail Ex Auto 0.1% 0.4% -0.1% 2.1% 2.3% 3.4% 3.5%
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