UK shop price inflation quickened in May as retailers struggled to maintain the discounts they used to attract cash-strapped consumers, the British Retail Consortium said.
Retail prices rose 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, compared with a 1.3 per cent gain in April, the trade group and Nielsen Co said in a report in London. Food price inflation held at 4.3 per cent.
The Bank of England left its bond-purchase target unchanged last month as it forecast inflation would remain above its two per cent for longer than previously expected. Still, a slump in manufacturing this month prompted Deutsche Bank AG to forecast it will restart stimulus.
“Some prices are moving upwards as retailers struggle to maintain the margin-sapping discounts which reached unsustainable levels in the face of weak consumer spending,” BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said in the report. “Easing commodity prices helped combat rising property and distribution costs. There's still a possibility of future supply shocks but the outlook for inflation looks set to remain at modest levels.”A separate survey by Lloyds Bank showed UK business confidence in the economic outlook plunged in May to its lowest level in five months as concerns about a potential exit of Greece from the euro area escalated. The index of sentiment dropped to minus 21 in May from 26 the previous month.
The bank questioned 301 companies with sales of less than £1 million (Dh5.7 million) May 8 to May 18.from gulf news.