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05.11.2019 16:20

UK consumers keep lid on spending in October - surveys

British consumers kept a tight rein on their spending ahead of December's election, despite being tempted by retailers offering heavy discounts last month, surveys showed on Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said overall retail spending rose 0.6% year-on-year in October, marking the strongest growth since April when spending was boosted by the timing of Easter.

Still, the BRC said the longer-term outlook remained bleak, with the 12-month rolling average of sales growth falling to a new low of 0.1%.

"With Brexit still unresolved and a December election creating new uncertainties, retailers will be looking nervously at the months ahead," BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

Consumers have propped up Britain's economy since the 2016 Brexit referendum, helping to offset reduced company investment. But economists say recent signs of a weakening in spending by households raise the risk of a recession as the country prepares to leave the European Union.


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