You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Hot weather sees boom in April retail sales

0
Written by: Adam Lewis
18/05/2017
Consumers seem to have shrugged off falling real wages, with retail sales surging 2.3% in April compared with March 2017, according to official statistics.

After yesterday’s news that real wages are falling, the theory went that squeezed household budgets would likely hit retailers in the pockets. However April’s figures managed to beat expectations, with year-on-year retail sales increasing by 4.0%

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), anecdotal evidence suggested that April’s warm weather encouraged people to spend on food, home improvements and gardening equipment.

Commenting on the figures, Ben Brettell, a senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “April’s figures were always expected to be better than March, because of the timing of the Easter holiday, but economists had forecast a smaller rebound of 1.0%, and much more subdued annual growth of 2.0%.

“The balance of probability suggests that at some point the combination of higher inflation and lacklustre wage growth will take its toll on the UK consumer. But today’s numbers provide some welcome evidence the economy has made a brighter start to the second quarter following disappointing GDP growth of 0.3% in Q1. With the labour market looking relatively robust, it’s possible the current mood of pessimism is unjustified.”

Michael Baxter, an economics commentator at The Share Centre, said: “Developments in the labour market, are having a contradictory effect. On the one hand, UK unemployment is down to its lowest level since 1975, but despite this employment is still rising strongly. On the other hand, average real wages are either falling or rising very slowly depending on which measure you use. With bonuses, they rose by 0.1% in the three months to March, without bonuses they fell by 0.2%.

“Inflation is expected to rise over the next few months putting real wages under further pressure. So although workers are set to become marginally worse off, there are more people in work.

“It is clear these are tough times for retail, particularly for those businesses that do not implement a plan to make maximum use of emerging technologies. In the years ahead, successful retailers will be the ones that embrace technology most effectively.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

After an award-winning health insurance provider?

Winner of best online health care provider in the YourMoney.com Awards 2015

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
investor confidence
Six common investment mistakes to avoid

Financial markets are never going to be perfect as they’re driven by people who can be irrational and make mistakes....

Close