Thursday, April 24, 2008
Spending strong, manufacturing weak
Posted by David Smith at 11:15 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

A puzzling set of figures. While retail sales volume dipped in March by 0.4%, as expected, there were upward revisions to earlier data. The result was that sales in the January-March period were up by 2% on the previous three months and by 5.6% on a year earlier. While some of this may reflect higher prices not picked up in the data breakdown - food spending was up sharply - it does not fit the picture of a beleaguered consumer we have come to expect. Details here.

Meanwhile, the CBI's latest industrial trends survey suggested, along with the strongest price pressures since 1995, orders and output were weaker than expected. Exporters are raising their prices in response to price pressures, neutralising some of the gains from sterling's fall against the euro. This is the press release.