Britain's public debt gauge rose to its highest level in nearly 60 years, while UK retail sales fell at a record pace in April, exceeding analysts' estimates, as the fallout from the Corona pandemic continued.
Government lending reached £62.1 billion ($75.80 billion) in April alone, exceeding expectations of an increase of £40 billion, slightly below the total government borrowing over the past year.
March's borrowing was sharply adjusted to nearly 15 billion pounds with the start of the government's emergency plan, where the Office for National Statistics said this was the highest share of GDP in this measure since 1963.
Moreover, data released by the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday revealed that retail sales in the UK fell by 18.1 percent in April, compared with a 5.2 percent drop in the previous month.
Analysts estimated that retail sales would fall by about 15.8 percent in the fourth month of this year. The pace of decline in British retail sales in April is the largest ever.
According to the data, all sectors saw a decline in April, with the exception of a record increase in out-of-store retail at 18 percent and a 2.3 percent increase in alcohol store sales. Clothing store sales fell 50.2 percent in April, were down 34.9 percent in March.
On the other hand, online spending climbed to an all-time high last April, up 30.7 percent.
At press time, the
GBP/USD pair reached 1.2171, while the lowest level recorded during the session
was at 1.2164.