Retail Growth for July

ONS figures this week have shown retail sales increased by 0.8% in the month of July. The news has been met with scepticism by retailers and economists as they argued figures have proved ‘erratic' in recent weeks and did not match surveys and anecdotal evidence. 

The British Retailers Consortium has written to Chancellor Alistair Darling ahead of his pre-budget report asking him to encourage employment in the retail sector, limit wage rises and property costs, as well as provide tax incentives for retailers.

The ONS has partly explained the figures due to a rise in discount shopping and a reduction in big ticket spending. The data also helps to alleviate fears of full blown recession for the UK leading Geoffrey Dicks at RBS to proclaim “the UK consumer is down but by no means out."

Pound in 8 Day Low

The Pound sunk to an 8 day low against the Euro, continuing its slide amidst the barrage of financial data released this week. This morning the Euro-Pound pair was recorded at 0.7957, leading speculators to suggest it is heading for 0.803. 

European Labour Market Contracts

Home Office figures this week show registration for new work permits from Eastern and Central European migrant workers are down. The figures, the lowest seen since many of these countries joined the European Union four years ago, are a direct result of the weakening global economy and contracting labour market.

Polish workers alone have previously made up to 28% of NI number applicants. Yet while four years ago, £500 pounds a month would have converted into 3,565 Zlotys, today it buys just 40% of that figure as the weak Pound and relative strengthening of European economies make working in the UK a less lucrative option.