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UK Retail Sales Surprisingly Down; European stocks are drifting – business life | business

Good morning and welcome to our ongoing coverage of the global economy, financial markets, euro area and business.

UK retail sales fell sharply in July as the 2020 European Football Championship rebound waned and people dined more out, buying less food and drink for their own use.

According to the Bureau of National Statistics, retail sales were down 2.5% from the previous month, while economists had expected a slight increase of 0.4%. In June sales rose by 0.5%.

Grocery sales fell 1.5% last month after rising 3.9% in June as sales boosted by the euro. Gasoline and diesel sales fell 2.9%, the first monthly decline since February as heavy rains in early July resulted in fewer cars on the road.

Both clothing and homeware stores saw a 2% decline, while department stores were the only sector to see 0.2% monthly growth.

The ONS said shipping delays have resulted in bottlenecks in some items, such as electrical goods. Other non-food stores such as pharmacies, toy stores, and sports retailers saw a 10.1% decline, the first monthly decline since February borne by thrift stores and computer and telecommunications equipment retailers.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Our latest data shows that retail sales in July 2021 were down an estimated 2.5% compared to June 2021.

That is 5.8% more than their pre-pandemic values ​​in February 2020 https://t.co/zHf7yPqIWY pic.twitter.com/FvF5iPV53u

August 20, 2021

Separate figures showed that the UK government shed $ 10.4 billion last month.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, said:

Our recovery from the pandemic is well underway, helped by the tremendous support from the government.

But the past 18 months have had a huge impact on our economy and public finances, and many risks remain.

We are committed to keeping public finances on a sustainable footing. That is why I set out in the March budget the steps we are taking to keep debt under control in the years to come.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Net public sector borrowing excluding public sector banks was £ 10.4 billion in July 2021.

This was the second highest July borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, but £ 10.1 billion less than July 2020 https://t.co/ON50Rs82jt pic.twitter.com/eimHfJDDpU

August 20, 2021

Apple delayed return to corporate offices from October to January at the earliest due to rising Covid-19 cases and concerns about new variants. The iPhone maker told employees in a memo that it would confirm reopening plans a month before employees return to the office, according to Bloomberg News.

European markets are expected to open slightly lower after experiencing their worst day of the month yesterday as investors worry about the spread of the Delta virus, the slowdown in economic growth in China, and the Federal Reserve’s plans to end its asset-buying program in this year to reduce worries.

The London FTSE 100 index closed 1.5% lower, the German Dax lost 1.2% and the French CAC collapsed 2.4%. Wall Street fared better, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rebounding, closing slightly higher at 0.1%, while the Dow Jones was down 0.19%.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei lost 1.1%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 2% and the Australian market lost 0.2%. Japanese automakers were hammered by Toyota’s decision to cut auto production in September, with Toyota shares dropping 5%.

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