London, The impact of the London bombings on high street spending in the U.K. appears to be less than expected. The Office for National Statistics reported that retail sales in July were 0.3% lower than in June. Expectations had been that sales would fall 0.5%.
Food-store sales increased 0.3% in July, while non-food store sales decreased 0.8%. The largest decrease was a 2.9% drop at non-specialized stores.
Retail sales from May to July were 0.7% higher than in the previous three months, marking the highest growth rate since November 2004. Compared to last year, sales from May to July were 1.3% greater, which is the lowest annual growth since February 1999.