Following the overnight double by-election defeat for the ruling Conservatives, this morning’s bigger-than-expected fall in retail sales partly reflects cost of living pressures.
The two by-election results this morning, which saw record swings to Labour from the incumbent Conservatives, are corroborated in the consumer angst seen in UK retail sales released this morning. Sales in September fell close to 1% on a month-on-month basis, against expectations of a 0.2% dip. Persistently high inflation, an unseasonably warm September and high borrowing costs all point to a depressed consumer, with disappearing confidence in the direction the economy is heading. This is now showing up in voter intent.
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