Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Retail sales and early Christmas shopping lifts in UK after the epidemic

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Market Desk (online): Early Christmas shopping helped to push up shop sales in October as people spent more on clothing and toys. Sales rose by 0.8% in October, following no growth in September, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Clothing sales reached their highest level since the start of the pandemic, said ONS.

According to ONS, clothing sales have now peaked since the onset of the epidemic. Shopping has also increased in old clothing stores. Although overall sales are higher than during the pre-epidemic period, the market is showing a mixed picture.

Meanwhile, fuel sales have fallen sharply due to rising fuel prices. Online sales and food sales have also declined. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said suppliers were working hard to keep the supply chain moving. If you can catch the Christmas business, the traders will be able to overcome of losses. And the demand will be strong in the next one month.

According to the report, Borrowing – the difference between spending and tax income – stood at £18.8bn in October, £200m less than a year earlier.

The interest the government pays on what it borrows also jumped because of rising inflation. The ONS said interest payments tripled in October from a year earlier to £5.6bn.

The government has spent record amounts on emergency measures during the pandemic, such as the furlough scheme, which was designed to protect wages. That was withdrawn completely on 1 October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that government not only support in the pandemic but also “protected millions of jobs and businesses but left us with much higher public debt”.

He added that Budget measures “will keep debt on a sustainable path in the years to come”.

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