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British retail to fuel UK's short-term growth

Three successive rises in consumer spending will allow the British high street to stabilise the economy until export markets start to pick up, according to a new report.

In its latest quarterly forecast, Ernst & Young said housing and retail will continue to fuel the UK's short-term growth while the government goes about encouraging investment in other areas.

As reported by, the Ernst & Young ITEM Club predicts GDP growth of 0.6 per cent for 2013, followed by a 1.9 per cent lift in 2014 and a 2.5 per cent increase the year after.

This will be fuelled by over one million housing transactions and small lifts in consumer spending. Retailers are expected to see revenue lifting 1.2 per cent this year, 1.9 per cent in 2014 and 2.2 per cent in 2015.

The report was keen to stress that housing and retail won't be able to hold the economy up beyond the next three years. However, British shops will be glad to hear of a possible lift in sales.

Peter Spencer, Chief Economic Advisor to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club, told "With the rebalancing of the UK economy on hold, we're once again relying on the consumer to see us through.

"Although it's not a long-term strategy, stimulating the housing market and the high street will keep GDP growth positive. Unbalanced growth is better than no growth," he added.

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