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Economy in Brief

UK Retail Sales Continue Their Strength
by Robert Brusca  October 17, 2013

UK retail sales rose by 0.5% in real terms in September. That rise left the three-month growth rate for sales at 3.1% below its 4.8% pace for 3-months but above its 2.2% pace over 12-months. Sales are up at a very strong 6.1% annual rate in the third quarter.

UK sales show firm trends across its main components. There is neither strong evidence of acceleration nor of deceleration, but rather of growth rates fluctuating around a rather robust pace. However, three-month growth rates for nominal spending are above 12-month growth rates adding to the notion that sales are tilted more toward acceleration that toward deceleration.

The quarter-to-date calculations for growth are quite good and generally exceed even the best of the sequential growth rates in the table. Real retail sales growth is up at a 6.1% pace in the quarter and nominal growth is up at an 8.5% pace in the quarter with its component's growth rates uniformly strong in the quarter as well.

The UK continues to show strong retail growth either including or excluding autos. Auto sales in the UK have been the most consistently strong in EMU. The UK economy seems to have raised its game. The retail sales trends show no flaws and give every reason to expect that spending will continue apace.

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