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Slower growth in households' spending was the main reason why the economy lost momentum last year.
Inflation pressures in the Eurozone probably firmed slightly in August. Data yesterday showed that inflation in Germany and Spain rose by 0.1 percentage points to 1.8% and 1.6% year-over-year respectively, and we are also pencilling-in an increase in French inflation today, ahead of the aggregate EZ report.
Last week's heavy snowfall, which blighted the entire country, will depress GDP growth in Q1, making it harder for the MPC to read the economy.
Yesterday's EZ producer price data showed that deflationary pressures in the manufacturing sector are fading. The headline PPI index fell 0.2% month- to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year up to -2.1%, from a revised -2.6% July.
The chainstore sales numbers have been hard to read over the past year.
The trend in retail sales no longer looks quite so flat, following yesterday's May report. The level of sales volumes in April was revised up by 0.3%.
The most important retail sales report of the year, for December, won't be published today, unless some overnight miracle means that the government has re-opened.
The gap between the official measure of the rate of growth of core retail sales and the Redbook chainstore sales numbers remains bafflingly huge, but we have no specific reason to expect it to narrow substantially with the release of the April report today.
The surge in July core retail sales was flattered by the impact of the Amazon Prime Event, which helped drive a 2.8% leap in sales at nonstore retailers.
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on the U.K. Services sector
Chief U.K. Economist Samuel Tombs on U.K. Price Increases
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