Rises in UK retail sales and business activity boost Covid-19 recovery hopes


Hopes of a rapid recovery in Britain’s economy from the coronavirus lockdown have been boosted by a summer rebound in retail sales and the strongest monthly growth in business activity for five years.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed retail sales rose by 13.9% in June compared with May as pent-up demand among consumers returned overall spending close to pre-pandemic levels.

A health check on business activity from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply also showed Britain’s private sector economy returned to growth in July as clients and customers returned to spending and businesses were able to open their operations as staff returned.

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