Thursday, August 19, 2010
Still spending after all these years
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Retail sales volume increased by a strong 1.1% in July, though the 12-month rise was a modest 1.3%. Even so, sales in the latest three months rose by 1.7% compared with the previous three months. Food sales were weak, down 0.9% on the three-month comparison, while non-food sales were up by a strong 4.2%. Confidence may be weakening but consumers are still spending. More here.

The news on public borrowing was also encouraging, with net borrowing in July of 3.8 billion, down from 6.1 billion a year earlier. There's a long way to go but it looks as though borrowing is on a downward trend, as the Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted. The question is whether it will prove to be too pessimistic for 2010-11. More here on the figures.