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.
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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