Marginal uplift in the economy won’t save struggling retailers

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Reacting to the impact of today’s Spring statement on the UK Retail sector,

Patrick O’Brien, Retail Research Director at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company commented,

‘‘Philip Hammond trailed his Spring Statement as an event free speech, and he did not disappoint. While the upbeat signals beforehand hinted that the OBR would be backtracking from the savage downward revisions to the economic forecasts it made in November last year, instead it made only a 0.1ppt increase to GDP in 2018 which was outweighed by decreasing forecasts 0.1ppt in both 2020 and 2021.’
The data does point to a slightly better near term picture for retailers though, with inflation falling leading to an increase of 1.2% in real household disposable income in 2018.’
On the perennial problem of business rates though, the only help was the bringing forward of the next revaluation to 2021, which will be little help to struggling retailers about to be hit by increased rate bills next month.’’

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