Thursday, June 19, 2008

Squeeze, what squeeze?

Retail sales rise at record pace

Mervyn King stated last night that take-home pay would stagnate making life difficult for some families but figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) regarding retail sales paint a rosy picture indeed. Year on Year (YoY) sales were up 8.1%, the fastest rate since April 2002. Figures produced by the ONS are viewed by many as highly dubious but the ONS figures are echoed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Personally I know many people feeling the pinch so I'm surprised by the figures. Is this simply the punter indulging in some "retail therapy" to cheer themselves up or is there simply enough cash sloshing around?

Posted by denzil @ 10:25 AM (1610 views)
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11 thoughts on “Squeeze, what squeeze?

  • Time for a rate rise then.

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  • whiteknight says:

    Is this a volume figure. ie. 10 mars bars were being sold before and now 20 mars bars are being sold?

    Or is it a total sales value figure? ie. 10 mars bars were being sold before. Now there are 8 mars bars being sold at 1.5 x the price?

    Does anybody know the calculation?

    As an aside – the equity market is full of some of the dumbest people i have ever had the misfortune to set my eyes upon. No offence intended!

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  • voiceofreason says:

    Also, my experience is that only a minority are in debt hell. Roughly 25%.
    In my peer group there are two types of people. Thrifty sensible types like myself with lots of savings, no mortgages, no loans. Then the others who are up to their eyeballs in 100s of K of debt, with 4x4s galore and kids in private school.

    The thrifties amongst us can continue to spend come what may. We are even making more cash as IRs go up on our savings.
    In fact, the thrifties are feeling more wealthy as we see house prices go down as our next move up the ladder will be cheaper.

    Some kind of feel good factor coming out of recession 🙂

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  • “As an aside – the equity market is full of some of the dumbest people i have ever had the misfortune to set my eyes upon. No offence intended!”

    Actually my view on that is that its a reflection of society in general. There are a few (small percentage) of Savvy people and the majority are quite dumb. The issue is the savvy ones get a disproportionate amount of money relative to their peers in other industries. That may change though going forward.

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  • whiteknight – The reported overall sales growth of 3.5% was by volume and it was the increase from April to May. The 3.3% increase in food was also measured on this basis. The ‘underlying’ sales growth is by volume and it compares the 3 months ending in May with the previous 3 months. The article quotes figures of 1.8% and 1.9% for this – probably one figure is from the ONS, the other from the BRC. Both figures seem to be seasonally unadjusted (i.e. they don’t take into account whether or not it’s normal to expect this rise over these months). As usual, the article is so pisspoor that you couldn’t glean all this without going back to the raw numbers.
    Note how the BRC has to be upbeat – sales up! – but at the same time they have to warn the MPC against hiking rates (‘weak consumer confidence’). This good news – bad news spin can be seen all the time in VI reporting of the residential property situation.

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  • Icarus – do they not look at the value of sales and deflate this by cpi to get volume sales?

    I don’t think they count all the Mars bars , then the sofas, MP3 players etc to get volume sales figures.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    If cpi is too artificially low then volumes would be overstated. Which is presumably why the BRC are so downbeat.

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  • I would guess that a great deal of the increase is attributable to shoppers from the eurozone taking advantage of the fall in sterling.

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  • the haunted says:

    Sounds like a right load of old b0ll0cks to me. Everyone I know is tightening their belt and I do mean everyone.

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  • I see this as a “conditioning exercise” (Sheeple get ready) for the inevitable rate rises

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  • Absolutely jack. I think these figures are manipulated in order to remove a possible excuse for not raising rates. The more I read, the more I beleive that the whole Boom/Bust scenario is contrived. It is pre-ordained. Designed.

    In the last couple of days the media have suddenly gone apesh1t wrt to inflation. And yet, you don’t have to be an economist to realise that the price of everything is going up because the BoE have been printing so much money – and that has been happening for some time now.

    All very suspish to me

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  • Rental John says:

    consumers buy less bad consumers buy more bad……I’m confured.com

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