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Uk Retail Sales Slow Sharply In July

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Rain dampens high street sales in London

From The Times August 17, 2009

High street sales in London rose modestly in July as the wet weather deterred shoppers and stores cut prices significantly, figures show.

The value of like-for-like sales rose by 2.2 per cent last month, the second-lowest rate of annual growth recorded since January, when sales jumped by 6.5 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Yet the rise in sales at stores in Central London outstripped the 1.8 per cent rise in sales across the whole of the UK.

“London sales still outperformed the rest of the UK, though by the narrowest margin in nine months,†Stephen Robertson, director-general of the BRC, said. The BRC said that sales had been boosted by overseas visitors attracted by the weakness of the pound.

“With clearance sales, we perhaps would have expected stronger growth in London but with many sales starting earlier in June, and the weather having taken a turn for the worse, demand may have been satisfied in June rather than in July,†he added. The heavy rain caused the biggest drop in footfall in the capital in 18 months. Footfall was 1.6 per cent lower than in July last year, the biggest annual drop in 18 months, figures from Synovate Retail Performance show.

But it added that just as British shoppers have clamped down on spending, overseas visitors are also more cautious with their cash, choosing smaller souvenir items rather than designer clothes or homewares.

Sales of clothing, footwear and outdoor living goods dropped as torrential rain dampened demand, but sales of indoor items such as homewares and furniture picked up.

The BRC figures come just days before official figures (out Thursday) are expected to show that retail sales rose by 0.3 per cent during July after a shock 1.2 per cent surge in June, which boosted the annual rate of growth to a six-month high of 2.9 per cent.

Economists have been surprised at the strength of consumer spending of late, but attribute much of it to early summer sales.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6798315.ece

Is it really the rain? This slowing seems to mirror the consumer contraction seen in the US over the past couple of months.

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Rose and fell against what? Last years figures? Last month's? I'm surprised they're rising at all.... everyone I know is cutting back big style.

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More stimulus is clearly needed.

I've done my bit bought a TV sent it back as it was faulty, got another sent that back as it was faulty, and then bought another TV from a different shop. Does all of this help the figures?

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More stimulus is clearly needed.

I've done my bit bought a TV sent it back as it was faulty, got another sent that back as it was faulty, and then bought another TV from a different shop. Does all of this help the figures?

We found July quite good (used cars) August is rubbish but then it always is.Still well ahead of August 2008 though and the focus is still on sub £3k.Lots of first time drivers this year.(Boomers grandchildren?)

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