UK shoppers not shocked at all by Brexit | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 18.08.2016
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UK shoppers not shocked at all by Brexit

British consumers have shrugged off June's pro-Brexit vote, fresh figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown. Retail sales went up across the country, beating all forecasts by analysts.

Retail sales volumes in the UK surged by 1.4 percent in July month on month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported Thursday.

Consumer spending jumped by much more than expected by analysts, adding to signs that voters' decision to leave the European Union had had a negligible impact on households so far.

Thursday's report provided the first official figures to shed light on how consumer demand had performed since the June 23 referendum.

Sentiment surveys and reality

Data released earlier this week also showed little immediate impact of the Brexit vote on the labor market.

The ONS said there'd been a particular boost in the sale of clothes, while the surge in sold luxury items such as watches and jewelry was attributed to overseas buyers visiting Britain after the plunge in sterling.

"[The figures] are encouraging for third-quarter growth," ING economist James Knightley said in a statement. "But with consumer confidence having plunged in the wake of Brexit and business surveys suggesting growing caution, we doubt that it's sustainable."

The long-running GfK survey - the main measure of consumer morale and an indicator of future household spending - suffered its sharpest drop since 1990 last month.

hg/jd/ (Reuters, AP)

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