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RETAIL SALES BOUNCE August was the best month for British retail sales since 2015, according to a monthly high street tracker by BDO, the accountancy firm. There was a 2% rise in retail sales. An increase in staycations and an influx of tourists after the fall in the value of the pound helped to push the sale of lifestyle goods up by 3.3% year on year in August. In fashion sales, a like for like rise of 1.5% represented the sectors best performance since last November. The sale of homewares rose by 1.9%.

MANUFACTURERS CASH IN ON WEAK POUND Factories are enjoying some of the best conditions in two decades as the fall in the pound and strengthening of the global economy boost factory orders and rates of production. More manufacturers are reporting that their order books and levels of output are increasing than at any time since 1995, according to EEF, the manufacturers organisation.

EMPLOYMENT AT RECORD HIGH Unemployment fell to a 42 year low in the three months to June as the labour market continued to set records in defiance of concerns about Brexit. Although wage growth remained disappointing, extending the squeeze on household incomes for a third month, the employment rate hit a record high.Unemployment has dropped to 4.4%, the lowest since 1975 and below the Bank of Englands estimate of the level at which wage inflation will start to build.

COMPANIES IN DISTRESS The number of companies in significant financial distress has jumped by 25% as businesses struggle with a slowdown in consumer spending and price increases, a survey shows. Begbies Traynors Red Flag report found that 329,834 companies were feeling the strain in the second quarter, up from 263,517 over the same period.

EXPORT BOOM Britains factories are experiencing their strongest performance in nearly three decades as the fall in the pound gives exporters an advantage abroad. The CBI said that order books in June had climbed to their highest level since August 1988, while export demand hit a 22 year high, raising hopes of manufacturing boom to offset slower consumer spending.

DOMINANT SERVICES Britains economy is gathering speed again after a lackluster first quarter following a pick-up in activity in the UKs dominant services sector in April. Economists said the closely watched survey pointed to growth of 0.6% in the three months to June if current trends persist, which would double the disappointing 0.3% expansion in the first quarter of the year. The purchasing managers index for the services sector, which accounts for four fifths of GDP, defied predictions to jump to a four-month high of 55.8 in April, above all forecasts. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.