UK retailers get no Olympic joy in August

AP News
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Posted: Sep 04, 2012 4:44 AM
UK retailers get no Olympic joy in August

LONDON (AP) — Retail sales in Britain fell in August, disappointing hopes that the Olympic Games in London would provide a boost.

The British Retail Consortium said Tuesday that sales were down 0.4 percent in August compared to a year earlier. That was the worst performance this year.

Stephen Robertson, the Consortium's director general, says that hot weather and the Olympics appeared to boost sales of party food and drink, but that the non-food sector sagged.

Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight, says consumers face a continuing squeeze on spending due to higher petrol prices and utility bills, and the possibility that food prices will rise because of poor harvests in the United States and elsewhere.