The UK Just Sent An Ominous Warning To The US About Inflation And The Consumer

UK retail sales fell 0.8% month-over-month, from January to February. Expectations were that retail sales would fall 0.6%, so this is worse than expected.


Photo: UK National Statistics

Sales increased 1.3% year-over-year, vs. 2.3% growth expected.The January to February breakdown:

Between January and February, total sales volume decreased by 0.8 per cent. Both predominantly food stores and predominantly non-food stores decreased with falls of 0.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively; non-store retailing increased by 0.5 per cent and automotive fuel increased by 0.6 per cent. There were decreases across all predominantly non-food sectors, the largest being non-specialised stores at 3.2 per cent, the largest decrease since February 2009 when it also fell by 3.2 per cent.

It should be an ominous warning to the US, where fuel the economy is not robust, and yet energy prices are causing headline CPI to shoot higher.

Yesterday, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in his budget plans that the UK would not be instituting increases in the fuel tax this year. Whether that will be helpful in combating the 4.4% annual inflation rate the country is experiencing is unknown.

The Bank of England’s board now expects inflation to rise above 5% this year.

Don’t miss: Ben Bernanke’s paper on why oil price shocks don’t merit rate hikes >

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.