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UK online retail sales skyrocket as economy begins rebound

© Blake Wisz

Retailers across the UK have been experiencing record volumes of orders thanks to the unwinding of the lockdown.

After months of subdued consumer spending and the largest fall in GDP in 300 years, the UK economy started its slow rebound in the past few weeks.

In May, the UK economy grew 1.8% after contracting a shocking 20.3% in April. The rebound, although below expectations, showed the UK had turned a corner and that consumer demand was finally starting to pick up from its lowest ebb.

The UK’s service sector was well on the way to recovering as well, with retailers experiencing record sales volumes online – supporting new job hires and optimism that growth was coming back.

For the month of June, retail sales expanded 3.4% compared with 2019, a remarkable growth in figures for the battered sector which has seen some of the most difficult trading conditions.

Online spending in non-food items was even more impressive with a staggering 48.2% increase – implying pent up demand making up for several months of subdued spending.

Although the news was good for online retail, the rebound in industrial production and the services sector as a whole was considered weaker than anticipated – with stimulus and government action needed in order to kickstart the UK’s economy.