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ONS Corrects UK Retail Sales Guide - Likely to Boost Q3 GDP

MNI (London)
--Updates story transmitted at 0830GMT 20-09-17 with corrected ONS data
     LONDON (MNI) - Retail activity is poised to exert a positive influence on
gross domestic product in the third quarter, according to a clarification
provided by the Office for National Statistics earlier Thursday. 
     Unveiling a 1.0% rise in August retail sales volumes on Wednesday, a
National Statistician told journalists that retail sales must rise by a
near-record 2.9% in September if third quarter sales volumes are to match the
second quarter. 
     However, statisticians corrected that statement on Thursday, telling
journalists that sales volumes could fall by as much as 2.9% in August and leave
retail sales unchanged between the second and third quarters.  
     That suggests that retail sales, which account for 5.6% of economic
activity, are poised to boost GDP in the third quarter. Retail sales have only
once declined by more than 2.9%, plunging by 3.4% in June of 2008, at the onset
of the financial crisis. 
     Retail sales rose by 1.5% in the second quarter, adding 0.09 percentage
points to GDP.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
[TOPICS: MABDS$,M$B$$$,M$E$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |

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