Skip to content

British Grocery Records and EU Spending Deal

While the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have caused huge damage to the UK economy, there are some signs for optimism too. For example, recent figures show that grocery sales have been rising at record-breaking speed.

The Full Details

This piece of market research from Kantar looked at the retail sales in Britain in the three month period up to the 12th of July. They found that the rate of spending during these months was the fastest since records began.

A 16.9% increase in grocery spending was largely down to more money being spent in local stores and on online shopping websites. Their numbers exclude drink and takeaway food.

The shift in our spending habits has been triggered by people being encouraged to make more meals at home. With restaurants and cafes across the country temporarily closed during lockdown, many of us decided to try cooking and baking.

The rise in online sales of grocery was the most spectacular part of the trend, with a 92% increase in just four weeks. This meant that online shopping went from making up 7% of the overall market before lockdown to 13% of it by July. Local convenience stores also saw an increase of almost 60% in sales over these three months.

The pace of growth in this sector has slowed in the last few weeks, as restaurants and other food outlets re-open. However, people are still spending more on groceries, even though they are making fewer shopping trips than before the lockdown.

A separate report from market research firm Neilsen showed a 10% year on year growth up to July 11th. This also revealed that the growth rate was slowing in recent weeks, as lockdown restrictions eased and more people began to eat out again.

The previous month’s numbers had shown a 14% year on year increase. They also revealed a 115% increase from last year in terms of online grocery shopping, which they said made up 14% of all spending of this type in the UK.

Consumer spending is expected to fall later in the year, though, as fears of job losses and a severe recession hover on the horizon. Many businesses are already looking at the idea of paying collection agency fees to recover money they are due during this economic downturn.

The EU Deal

Another important piece of news came from the EU negotiating tables in Brussels, where a long and complicated series of talks ended in a historic agreement. Leaders of the EU countries have agreed to spend €759 billion of funds in an attempt to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

This was the longest meeting held by the EU in over 20 years, as five days of talks between 27 heads of state finally led to an agreement. The countries will come together to borrow a massive amount of money that will then be handed out in grants.

The European council president, Charles Michel, announced the breakthrough when he tweeted the word “Deal!” French President Emmanuel Macron then called it a “historic day for Europe.” This lead to an immediate rise for the Euro against the US Dollar.