Tuesday, March 08, 2011
A post-VAT squeeze
Posted by David Smith at 08:45 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The British Retail Consortium says stores had a weak February, with overall sales up by just 1.1% on a year earlier, while like-for-like sales were down 0.4%. Remember these are figures for sales value, so the udnerlying picture was weaker. As it was the BRC said this was the softest performance since May 2009.

Food sales held up better than non-food, suggesting either that higher VAT depressed non-food sales, or that higher food prices (and petrol) diverted spending away from discretionary items. There's tentative evidence that the very recent picture is a little stronger but these were weak figures. More here.