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ENGLAND'S HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION SLACKENS.

The National Accounts indicator of household consumption in England rose by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2001, close to its 40-year average and the same as in the previous quarter, but weakened as the year went on.

Retail sales slackened as the first quarter progressed and dropped off markedly during the second quarter. This is at least partially attributed to the fact that households experienced a decline in real post-tax disposable income starting in the first quarter. According to the bank report: "Consumption growth is considerably less variable than disposable income-consumers tend to smooth their consumption profile by absorbing erratic income changes in their savings. Such smoothing reflects consumption being more closely related to households' expectations of the future path of income."

Bank surveys suggest that consumer confidence rose during the first and second quarters, underpinning the sustained strength of consumer borrowing and increased housing prices. However, confidence was shaken during the third quarter by the attacks on the US and the prospect of a prolonged slowdown in global trade.
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Publication:Market Europe
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:173
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