UK retail sales weren't as strong as analysts expected in July

UK retail sales disappointed in July, coming in shy of what economists had forecast.

Analysts were expecting a 0.4% boost from June, which would have left sales up 4.4% year-on-year.

In reality, sales rose just 0.1% from June — though that still leaves them up 4.2% from July last year.

According to the Office for National Statistics, this is the longest sustained period of growth in retail spending in more than seven years.

There have been 28 consecutive months of growth — if the UK manages another four, it will beat the growth stretch running up to May 2008, which was 31 months long.

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