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UK retail sales disappoint in April

Bad weather drags on spending, while cost of living pressures linger.

24 May 2024

UK retail sales for April showed a sharper decline than the 0.5% drop forecast, falling 2.3% from the previous month, which was ominously also revised lower. Bad weather was the explanatory factor from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as store footfall fell but more constrained consumer spending habits cannot be ruled out as cost of living pressures continue to weigh on the broader economy. Bad economic news should be good for markets in the sense that it would lift hopes for an easing in central bank policy, but that narrative has now shifted with a growing market realisation that stubborn unshifting policy is the new normal. Expect rates to remain higher for longer despite a slowdown in consumer spending.

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The information in this document is given for information purposes only and does not qualify as investment advice. Opinions and assessments contained in this document may change and reflect the point of view of GAM in the current economic environment. No liability shall be accepted for the accuracy and completeness of the information. Past performance is not an indicator for the current or future development.

Charles Hepworth

Investment Director
My Insights

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