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Britain Feeling the Squeeze

17th November 2017

The economy has seen many pivotal changes over the past few months: increase in interest rates, unemployment falling and value of the pound increasing. However, the nation is still feeling the squeeze and has cut down on spending as a result.

Food prices have seen an increase of 3.5% compared to last year which helped push the volume of goods bought in shops and online down by 0.3% from October 2016.

The month-on-month number was more optimistic after it showed a 0.3% growth on the preceding month subsequent to strong sales in charity shops, auction houses, antiques and fine art dealers, the Office for National Statistics said.

This monthly increase was unsuccessful in making up for September’s 0.7% decline from August and uninspiring spending over much of the year.

The worth and capacity of goods bought in October compared with the earlier month increased by only 0.1% after fuel was not included in the figures, representing the strength of petrol purchases ahead of price increases seen this month.

Analysts have pointed to the recent mild weather as a dampener on winter clothes sales and food inflation, which hit 4% month on month, as important elements depressing retail sales.

Apprehension about the economic viewpoint, which is represented in recent consumer confidence surveys, has also discouraged shoppers from buying big-ticket items such as furniture.

Keith Richardson, a retail sector spokesman for Lloyds Bank, said: “When the Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in a decade, it said it believed the economy was strong and that the consumer had already borne the worst of the squeeze on incomes.”

Sources: The Guardian

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