It’s a vast improvement on the dire retail figures reported in April, when sales were down 1%. And there could be more good news yet to come, as the patriotic spending spree that was the Diamond Jubilee, and the impact of the upcoming Euro 2012 and Olympics start to show on the high street ledger.
The rosier results (and weather) may be only short-term, but BRC director general Stephen Robertson reckons that’s better than nothing: ‘As the relentlessly difficult underlying conditions continue to make trading tough for retailers, any temporary boost is of even greater importance,’ he says.
Or perhaps it’s not so temporary, after all. A new survey from manufacturing lobby EEF says that companies expect output and orders to rise over the next three months. ‘Despite the problems closer to home, manufacturers are building on successful strategies to access growth opportunities in new markets,’ says EEF chief economist Lee Hopley. Although, it’s worth noting that EEF has nonetheless revised down growth forecasts for the year, predicting accelerated growth in 2013 instead.
Have the retail sales rises and (slightly) optimistic manufacturing data been enough to convince the Bank of England to hold off more quantitative easing asset purchases today? It has indeed...