U.K. retail sales rose very modestly in June, reversing the drop seen in May but falling short of expectations, official data showed.
Retail sales volume in June including fuel was up 0.1 percent from the month before and up 3.6 percent from the same time last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was slightly weaker than the 0.3 percent and 3.9 percent that economists forecast in a Reuters poll.
The second quarter of 2014 saw U.K. retail sales grow 4.5 percent from the same period in 2013, the highest calendar quarter growth in 10 years.
The figures come as the U.K. economy continues to grow and the Bank of England (BoE) considers when to raise interest rates from their historically low levels. BoE governor Mark Carney — dubbed the “unreliable boyfriend” — has been accused of sending out mixed signals over the exact timing of the rate hike. On Wednesday the Canadian-born banker expressed fears that an increase in interest rates could damage the U.K.’s recovery and cause households to cut spending.
“History shows that the British people do everything they can to pay their mortgages,” Carney said at a speech in Glasgow, Scotland.
“That means cutting back deeply on expenditures when the unexpected happens. If a lot of people are highly indebted, that could tip the economy into recession.”
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