UK Retail Sales Growth Climbs to Two-Year High, CBI Says

by Reuters
NYTimes.com

LONDON — British retail sales growth unexpectedly surged to a two-year high in early September, industry data showed, boosting the chances of a pick-up in the pace of economic growth and a Bank of England interest rate rise in November.

The Confederation of British Industry’s retail sales balance jumped to +42 from -10 in August, the highest in two years and far above all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.

British consumers have been squeezed by higher inflation caused in large part by the plunge in the pound after last year’s Brexit vote.

The Bank of England said this month there were signs consumer demand might be picking up, helped by record-high employment, though it was too soon to tell if this would offset weak business investment.

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