by: Co-operatives UK
Source: Co-operatives UK
Despite the biggest stimulus in UK history the recession continues to deepen. The first three months of 2009 were the worst for the UK economy in three decades. Whilst a poor performance for the economy was expected, the drivers of the downturn came as a surprise to many commentators. This recession was expected to be led by a retrenchment in consumer spending and financial services. In fact, it was investment in manufacturing that declined the most.
A strong outturn from retail sales suggests that at least one aspect of spending has not succumbed to the recession. Napoleon said that we are a nation of shopkeepers. True or not we appear to be a nation of shoppers. Although the economy has been in recession for more than nine months, retail spending continues to grow, bucking the economy's downward momentum. Compared to the same period last year total expenditure in the UK fell by 4% but consumer spending in retail outlets increased by almost 2%.
Perhaps it is because a large part of the co-operative movement's economic strength lies in retailng that we are able to report a period of growth in the co-operative economy. But this review is about much more than numbers. It is also a record of business excellence and success around the co-operative movement.
Publication Date: 2009-01-01