September

Home improvement and stockpiling boost September UK retail sales

Consumers increased spending on improving their homes and stockpiling goods in September in preparation for a tightening of restrictions, providing a boost for retailers.

Sales in the UK rose 5.6 per cent last month compared with the same period a year ago, according to data from the British Retail Consortium and the consultancy KPMG. That was above the six-month average decline of 1.1 per cent and the best annual growth rate of any month since December 2009, it found.

“September saw a big improvement in retail sales growth,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, whose survey covers about 60 per cent of the industry.

“With office workers still at home for the foreseeable future, the sales of electronics, household goods and home office products have remained high,” she added. In contrast, more time spent at home and the cancellation of public events “have continued to hold back clothing and footwear”.

Line chart of Annual % change showing UK retail sales shift online

Food retail sales also rose in September as shoppers began stockpiling in reaction to possible further restrictions, said Susan Barratt, chief executive at the grocery consultancy IGD, commenting on the BRC data.

The growth in overall retail sales does not mean that high-street retailers are out of the woods, as the shift toward online sales prompted by the lockdown continued.

Online non-food sales last month rose 37 per cent compared with the same period a year ago. In contrast, in-store sales of non-food items were still very depressed.

Retail sales were the first of the main economic indicators to rise above last year’s level back in July as consumers spent money on food and drink rather than visiting restaurants and pubs.

The BRC findings chime with a 2 per cent annual growth in consumer spending in September, according to Barclaycard data also published on Tuesday.

The payments company’s

White House Security Official Contracted Covid-19 in September

(Bloomberg) — A top White House security official, Crede Bailey, is gravely ill with Covid-19 and has been hospitalized since September, according to four people familiar with his condition.



The White House stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump stunned campaign advisers and allies in Congress by single-handedly torpedoing any chance of a fresh coronavirus stimulus, saddling himself with the blame for any more layoffs and market losses in the final weeks before the election.


© Bloomberg
The White House stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump stunned campaign advisers and allies in Congress by single-handedly torpedoing any chance of a fresh coronavirus stimulus, saddling himself with the blame for any more layoffs and market losses in the final weeks before the election.

The White House has not publicly disclosed Bailey’s illness. He became sick before the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event President Donald Trump held to announce his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett that has been connected to more than a dozen cases of the disease.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on Bailey. He is in charge of the White House security office, which handles credentialing for access to the White House and works closely with the U.S. Secret Service on security measures throughout the compound.

A career federal employee who has seldom appeared in the news, Bailey was swept up in a controversy last year over security clearances granted to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Bailey privately testified to the House Oversight Committee that he didn’t face pressure from others at the White House to grant clearances, according to a report by The Hill.

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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UK house price rise speeds up in September: Nationwide

FILE PHOTO: An apartment block is constructed behind a row of traditional properties in central London December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

LONDON (Reuters) – British house prices rose by the most in four years in September when they jumped by an annual 5.0%, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Wednesday as a sharp rebound in the country’s housing market accelerated.

The increase was stronger than the median forecast of a 4.5% rise in a Reuters poll of economists and average prices hit a fresh record high.

Britain’s housing market has boomed since the coronavirus lockdown with a rush by some buyers for bigger houses outside of urban areas in the new work-from-home age combining with pent-up demand.

Nationwide said about 10% of people it surveyed in September were in the process of moving as a result of the pandemic, rising to 15% in London. A further 18% of those asked said they were considering moving due to the pandemic.

“Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown,” Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner said.

Housing industry officials have warned that the mini-boom could run out of steam soon with unemployment expected to rise sharply and COVID-19 cases on the rise again.

Nationwide said prices rose by 0.9% in September from August compared with a forecast of a 0.5% increase in the Reuters poll.

Nationwide said the housing market had also been boosted by finance minister Rishi Sunak’s tax cut on house purchases which he introduced in July as he sought to boost the broader economy after its record 20% contraction between April and June.

Bank of England data published on Tuesday showed mortgage approvals hit their highest in almost 13 years in August.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing

UK property prices rise at fast rate in 4 years in September

Estate agents property for sale boards on display outside a residential property in north London. Photo: Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
Estate agents property for sale boards on display outside a residential property in north London. Photo: Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

UK house prices are surging at their fastest rate in four years, as pent up demand post-lockdown and a temporary Stamp Duty cut fuel a buying boom.

Nationwide’s closely-watched House Price Index found prices jumped by 5% on an annual basis in September, the biggest increase since September 2016.

Prices grew by 0.9% between August and September. Both the annual growth figure and the month-on-month growth were ahead of City forecasts.

The average UK house price now stands at £226,129 ($288,167), Nationwide said.

Watch: Why house prices are rising despite COVID-19 and a recession in the UK

“The rebound reflects a number of factors,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist.

“Pent-up demand is coming through, with decisions taken to move before lockdown now progressing. The stamp duty holiday is adding to momentum by bringing purchases forward. Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown.”

Gardner said the pandemic was encouraging people to move. Lockdowns and working from home have spurred many people to look for new properties with more space and a garden, with less concern about commuting distance.

READ MORE: UK mortgage approvals hit highest level since 2007

25% of people surveyed by Nationwide in London said they were moving as a result of the lockdown, while another 15% of residents in the capital were thinking about moving.

All regions of the UK saw house prices grow between July and September. The highest growth was in the South West of England, where annual price growth was 5.5%.

Nationwide’s price data comes a day after the Bank of England said mortgage approvals hit a

Garden City, NY Coronavirus Updates & News For September 29



Mineola, NY |
13h

Two people tested positive for COVID-19 at Hampton Street and Mineola Middle Schools. Mineola High School also recorded a case, records show

Two people tested positive for COVID-19 at Hampton Street and Mineola Middle Schools. Mineola High School also recorded a case, records showed.
Two people tested positive for COVID-19 at Hampton Street and Mineola Middle Schools. Mineola High School also recorded a case, records showed. (Google Maps Image)

MINEOLA, NY — Three Mineola schools recently recorded coronavirus cases, according to state records and district officials…. Read more



Hicksville, NY |
13h

The student was on-site but was not determined to be in close contact with other students or staff, officials say.

HICKSVILLE, NY — A Hicksville High School student has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, but the school was not required to close, officials said…. Read more



Syosset, NY |
15h

Friendly’s, a struggling family restaurant and ice cream parlor, closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

SYOSSET, NY — A Friendly’s restaurant in Syosset permanently closed over the weekend amid struggles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic…. Read more



Farmingdale, NY |
18h

More than half the respondents are not convinced the measures taken by local officials to reopen schools will keep the community safe.

LONG ISLAND, NY — Students have gone back to school, and Long Island/Hudson Valley families have mixed feelings on how local officials are handling education safety amid the coronavirus pandemic. More than half of those who responded to a Patch survey are not convinced that the safety measures being taken by local officials to reopen schools will keep school communities safe, but more parents believe their children are safe in… Read more

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