UK economy slows and retail sales decline as living costs soar

British people say they are cutting spending after being hit hard by rising inflation and rising living costs. National Bureau of Statistics (ONS) On thursday.

According to ONS, retail sales in the UK fell 1.4% in March. This was a 0.5% decrease in the previous month as shoppers were forced to fasten their belts due to soaring commodity costs.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal weather Retail sales will decrease by 0.2%.

ONS’ Opinion and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) Covering the period from March 16th to 27th, 54% of adults in the UK report spending less on non-essential things amid growing concerns about living expenses. have understood.

According to Thursday’s data, the biggest contributor to the decline was due to non-store retailers such as online retailers and mail-order retailers, with a 7.9% decline in February followed by a 7.9% decline in monthly sales. bottom.

Meanwhile, retail sales in March were up 0.9% year-on-year. Economists expected a 2.8% increase.

According to ONS, despite the March decline, sales were 20.3 percent above pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

Grocery store sales also declined 1.1%, continuing the declining trend that began in November 2021, and ONS limits COVID-19 in addition to the impact of rising grocery prices across supermarket stores. We believe that spending in pubs and restaurants has increased as a result of the relaxation.

Darren Morgan, Director of Economic Statistics at ONS, said: Online sales were particularly hit by the low level of discretionary spending. “

Separate numbers from S & P Global and Chartered Institute of Purchasing (Cips) was also announced Thursday, showing that UK private sector growth reached its slowest rate in three months as high inflation and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine affected demand. ..

“April data show that the recovery of the UK economy as a whole is much slower, largely due to the slowest increase in new orders to date in 2022. Survey respondents are primarily in the crisis of living costs. And the economic uncertainties resulting from the war in Ukraine have affected client demand, “the economist wrote.

The latest data comes from the UK’s inflation rate reaching a 30-year high of 7% in March, and is projected to rise further this month as gas and electricity prices rise across the country. increase.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey Said On Thursday, the UK’s central bank said, “A close line between inflation efforts and the output effects of real income shocks, which could cause a recession and overwhelm inflation. I was walking “risk”.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.