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Retail sales tumble as cost of living bites

A look at some of the trending topics in focus on Friday
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Retail sales stats were the big story of the day..

All this talk of monetary tightening and possible interest rates rises and then we get UK retail sales.

Today's figures were described as 'dire' by at least one analyst, showing as they did the biggest quarterly fall in seven years during the first three months of 2017.

Economists said it underscored the rising cost of inflation, which was hitting the consumers' pockets hard.

A statistician from the ONS, which brought the report, said: "This is the first time we've seen a quarterly decline since 2013, and it seems to be a consequence of price increases across a whole range of sectors."

Howard Archer, at IHS Markit, said the poor figures reinforced his belief that the Bank of England will not be raising interest rates any time soon...

 

 

 

In other news, just as electric car giant Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been toasting its increased value in recent weeks, the car maker from Silicon Valley had some less upbeat news.

It has voluntarily recalled around two thirds of all the cars it produced last year after an issue with the electronic parking brakes was discovered.

Elon Musk's Tesla said around 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles built last year are potentially affected but it estimates only 5%  will actually have the fault.

Tesla shares closed yesterday almost 1% lower at $302.51.

 

Lagging today was struggling business Restaurant Group plc (LON:RTN), which owns Garfunkels and Frankie and Benny's, and which saw shares slip 2.49% to stand at 256.30p.

It revealed chief financial officer, Barry Nightingale was stepping down from the board and leaving the company with immediate effect.

It comes  just 10 months after taking on the role as the company tries to overhaul its struggling business and the departure comes almost a year after his predecessor, Stephen Critoph, left.

Critoph’s exit was announced at the same time the group issued a profit warning due to weak trading at its restaurants.

 

With all these geopolitical  fears around and alarming economic data, some may be forgiven for wanting something to accompany an alcoholic beverage.

Fever-Tree Drinks (LON: FEVR) has been a huge success story in recent years and has fizzed up today a further half percent.

It is now worth more than Britvic - despite being in business for little over a decade, according to reports.

Fever-Tree is now valued at £1.8 billion - while Britvic, in business since 1845, is worth £1.7 billion, reports ThisisMoney.

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