Retail Sales Slip

After two strong months, official retail sales fell by 0.6% in May and were down by 1.6% on May 2008’s unusually strong figure. Sales in the latest three months were 0.6% higher in volume terms than a year earlier and were 0.3% up on the previous three months. Good weather, for once, may have depressed sales. More here.

The public finances, meanwhile, are still in a bad way, with a May current budget deficit of £17.5 billion, compared with £10.6 billion a year earlier. It’s too early to say whether things are turning out worse than the Treasury’s forecast but it hasn’t been a great start to the fiscal year. More here.

Originally published at David Smith’s EconomicsUK blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.