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UK Retail Sales Rise

Friday feeling, retail sales rise at fastest rate in four months, economics of Taylor Swift's tour, consumer confidence beats expectations, and today's data.

Friday Feeling
Check out this week’s playlist here!
Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift
Question Time – Leif Erikson
Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful

UK Retail Sales Rise

The UK Retail Sales print well surpassed expectations this morning, rising at its fastest rate in four months on a monthly basis, and showing some signs of recovery from last month’s contractionary reading (which came in at -1.8%).

Against a market consensus which was pointing to a 1.5% month-on-month rise for May, retail sales grew 2.9%. On an annual basis, the index also recorded growth of 1.3%, though fell marginally when comparing against the three months to May.

The rise in monthly sales was led by clothing and furniture sales, which had been hampered by April’s poor weather, in addition to non-store retailing which saw just shy of 6% growth.

Despite today’s reading, the ONS notes that over the year to May 2024, volumes were still half a percent below their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

…Swiftonomics

On a lighter note, with Taylor Swift in town, we will have to wait and see the extent to which Swiftonomics could impact spending.

In June 2023 for example, a study by QuestionPro found that concert attendees were spending about $1,300 per show.

Moreover, already by December, the singer’s Eras tour took the accolade of being highest-grossing tour of all time as well as the first-ever to gross $1 billion.

UK Consumer Confidence Rises to 2 ½ Year Highs

GfK consumer confidence beat expectations this morning, coming in at -14 points over June against projections of a -16pt print.

This marks an uptick from May’s figure which came in at -17 and the third consecutive month where consumers’ optimism rose.

The rise in confidence also brings GfK’s barometer to its highest level since November 2021, with views over the general economic situation over the last 12 months and next 12 months improving.

As one director at GfK put it however, “the headline score remains negative owing to the difficulties so many have experienced as the unrelenting cost-of-living crisis batters household budgets.”

Such concerns were reflected in apprehension over personal financial situations over the next year, with the index falling three points.

For more on the survey, follow the link here.

Today’s Data

Following this morning’s UK retail sales, and consumer confidence print, public sector net borrowing figures came in at £14.1bn. Japanese CPI also came in marginally softer than consensus at 2.5%. As we head into the morning, markets will focus their attention on Eurozone PMI figures (at 10:00), in addition to UK and US PMIs at 09:30 and 14:45, respectively.

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