UK High Streets

The Worcester high street that's come back to life
From a Balkan breakfast to knitting - traders are diversifying to try to buck the trend of falling sales in the high street.

There's still life in British households yet

Shopping bags
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The surprise 1% rise in retail sales during June "shows that there is some life in households yet", says Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.

It may also mean that GDP avoided a contraction in the second quarter.

Mr Dales says: "It suggests that the weakness in April and May was just a temporary payback from the strength in the first quarter rather than the start of a much weaker underlying trend.

"It’s the first monthly activity indicator to turn up after the weak run in recent months."

He also says it could mean the 0.5% quarter-on-quarter rise in GDP between January and March may be followed by no change in the three months to June, "rather than the 0.1% quarter-on-quarter contraction we previously expected".

Charity shops boost UK retail sales

Woman in charity shop
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More on the Office for National Statistics retail sales data, which showed an unexpected rise in June.

"Retail as a whole saw a return to growth in the month of June, mainly due to growth in non-food stores with increased sales in second-hand goods, including charity shops and antiques," ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said.

But, she said: "Retail sales growth slowed in the latest three months as food stores saw falling sales for the first time this year and department stores continued their steady decline".

Retail sales helpful news for the economy

Economic adviser to the EY Item Club of forecasters tweets:

Department store sales falls

The Office for National Statistics said that department stores continued to record a drop in sales in June with the amount spent falling by 0.2% and the quantity bought shrinking by 0.4%.

"This was the sixth consecutive month-on-month decline for department stores," the ONS said.

Retail sales jump in June

shoppers
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June retail sales jumped 1%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A Reuters poll of economists that had forecast a 0.3% drop.

Annually, sales were up 3.8%.

Boohoo bigger than Asos

A twitter exchange between Ashley Armstrong of the Times and retail export Nick Bubb highlights the changing stock market fortunes of retailing companies in the news this week.

Asos issued its profits warning today while Sports Direct said on Monday it was delaying its results, which were due today.

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