UK Retail Economic Briefing

Our UK Retail Economic Briefing analyses a range of macroeconomic indicators including GDP, consumer spending, inflation, labour market, commodity prices, exchange rates, monetary indicators, credit and lending market data, house prices, mortgage data, retail sales and more.

Report

UK Retail Economic Briefing - March 2017

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The UK Retail Economic Briefing includes:

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Summary and economic overview
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GDP
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Labour Market
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Inflation
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Producer Prices
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Consumer Spending
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Retail Sales
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Prices, costs and margins
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House Prices
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Credit Market
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Consumer Confidence
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Wage Growth
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... and much more

Summary

GDP for Q4 2016 remained at 0.7 per cent compared with the previous quarter, in line with the consensus view. Overall, the economy grew by 1.8 per cent for 2016, despite a 0.1 percentage point downward revision to Q3 2016 growth, which now stands at 0.5 per cent.

The savings ratio declined in the fourth quarter to 3.3 per cent — a new record low. This is a continuation of a recent trend which has seen the ratio fall back since Q3 2015. This can be explained, in part, by the strong growth in consumer spending outweighing the growth in household disposable income. The latter is a reflection of a fall in other investment income which households don’t have much control over. This implies that, to some degree, it could be short-sighted to assume that consumers fuelled their recent spending by wholly reducing their savings pot.

Our latest Shopper Sentiment Survey conducted on 7 April revealed that consumers’ concerns over levels of inflation have risen markedly since January. The latest data showed rising inflation as the second highest concern for consumers selected by 16 per cent of respondents. In January, rising inflation was the fifth highest concern.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brexit continued to rank as the highest concern for consumers, selected by 29 per cent of respondents, up from 27 per cent in January. This is likely to reflect the triggering of Article 50 and concerns over the implications and on-going uncertainty.

Lack of savings and repayments of debts and loans remained key concerns and featured in the top four in April.