U.K. Retail Data Calls Post-Election Economic Bounce Into Question
A customer pulls a shopping cart as she prepares to enter a Tesco supermarket store, operated by Tesco Plc, in the Kensington district of London, U.K. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

U.K. Retail Data Calls Post-Election Economic Bounce Into Question

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British consumers aren’t fully buying that the economy has turned a page even after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resounding election victory, surveys published on Tuesday show.

Retail sales were flat on a like-for-like basis in January from a year earlier, according to an industry report, with non-food sales maintaining their recent declines. And while separate data from Barclaycard -- which oversees almost half the nation’s card transactions -- showed spending up 3.9%, a majority of those surveyed said growth could slow in the next few years.

U.K. Retail Data Calls Post-Election Economic Bounce Into Question

The mixed picture raises questions over whether the gloom of Brexit that has weighed on the economy and prompted speculation about a Bank of England interest-rate cut is really about to lift.

The U.K. economy probably stagnated in the fourth quarter, despite a 0.2% expansion in December, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The figures are due to be published at 9:30 a.m. in London.

BOE Governor Mark Carney has, so far, been cautious about the so-called Boris bounce suggested by surveys following Johnson’s decisive election victory. It’s “less of a case of so far so good, than so far, good enough,” he told reporters last month. The central bank predicts growth to be less than 1% this year -- the worst performance in a decade.

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