CAIRO: The UK’s consumers’ spending on less urgent items fell sharply last week, while Sweden’s economy bounced back in the second quarter of this year.
Germany’s price levels are expected to peak as firms plan to hike prices rise, and Australia cut its growth outlook as the country's inflation continues to spike.
UK consumers slash spending on less urgent items
British consumer spending on non-urgent items — such as clothing, furniture and cars — fell last week to its lowest since February as spending on petrol surged, according to official data on Thursday based on credit and debit card usage.
The Office for National Statistics said spending on goods that it classifies as ‘delayable’ fell to 80 percent of its pre-pandemic February 2020 average level in the week to July 21, compared with 86 percent in the week before.
The figures are not adjusted for inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 9.4 percent in June.
German inflation has likely peaked
The proportion of German companies that plan to increase prices declined for the third month in row in July, an indication that inflation has peaked, an Ifo institute survey found.
“Prices are still likely to continue to rise, but the pace will slow,” said Ifo head of forecasts Tim Wollmershaeuser on Thursday, adding there was usually a few months' lag between company price expectations being reflected in consumer prices.
“This means that inflation has probably reached its peak and will gradually decline in the course of the second half of the year,” he added.
Swedish economy bounces back in Q2, but slowdown ahead
Sweden's economy bounced back after a weak start to the year with gross domestic product expanding 1.4 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, flash figures published by the Statistics Office on Thursday showed.
Compared to the second quarter the previous year, the economy grew 4.2 percent. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast growth of 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter.