Jul.18 - British retail sales increased by 0.2% in June, to show better-than-expected growth of 2.2% on the year, mainly thanks to discounts and promotions. Joanna Partridge reports.
The latest sign of recovery in the UK economy. Retail sales rose in June, helped on their way by an unusually high level of discounts and promotions at department stores. Sales volumes increased 0.2% on the month. It was a slight slowdown after a very strong May, but is still means they'll show growth of 2.2% on the year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Carsten Brzeski is from ING. SOUNDBITE: Carsten Brzeski, Senior Economist, ING, saying (English): "We do see a recovery starting to unfold, still not a strong recovery, we still need I would say accommodative monetary policy, but compared with the euro zone I would say the glass is half full." The retail sales data echoes other economic readings, which suggest Britain's recovery gained some speed in the second quarter, after growing 0.3 per cent between January and March. But consumer spending in the UK is still under pressure from inflation, which is outstripping growth in wages. The Bank of England and policymakers are looking at ways to reassure households, businesses and the markets, that interest rates won't rise any time soon - and that may also encourage Brits to spend.