While there’s lots of uncertainty about the future of the economy as the Brexit negotiations rumble on, it seems that consumers are looking on the bright side. They are continuing to spend, despite the squeeze on their finances from high inflation.
The latest data show an underlying picture of steady growth in retail sales. In the three months to October, the amount of sales made increased by 0.9% compared with September, while the amount spent increased by 1.5%. The numbers are lower than last year though – by 0.3% and 2.5% respectively – but that’s largely due to the milder weather we are having now. No-one needs to buy hats, coats and scarves when its mild.
And there’s been other good news this month too. It seems that the UK’s productivity is picking up at last. In September, output per hour picked up at its fastest rate since the second quarter of 2011. Productivity is still well below pre-crisis levels, but there is a clear upward trend which will help increase the growth rate of the whole economy. Good news all round!