Today’s markets: Tesco’s growth dries up, retail sales collapse amid post-Covid restaurant surge

  • Retail sales plummet as shoppers dine out
  • Tesco shares tumble as sales plateau
  • Health experts warn of Olympic threat from Covid-19

Hello and welcome to the IC Markets Live blog, where we bring together the latest news that affects your portfolio.

Decline in retail sales

Retail sales in Britain fell 1.4% between April and May 2021, after levels rose in April when foreclosure restrictions were relaxed.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest contribution to the monthly decline reported on Friday morning came from grocery stores. According to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), volumes fell 5.7% as the hospitality industry opened up and more people went to eat and drink.

Still, average total retail sales for April and May combined were 7.7% higher than in March and 9.1% higher than in February 2020 – before Covid-19 took hold.

Tesco platters

Difficult comparators and progress along Boris Johnson’s lockdown exit roadmap also played a role in Tesco’s (TSCO) numbers on Friday. Grocery giant FTSE 100 saw only a 1% increase in the group’s retail sales on a like-for-like basis for the quarter ending May 29, reaching £ 13.4 billion.

But over two years, like-for-like sales grew 8%, Tesco said. In the UK, growth was driven by the “retained advantage of customers consuming more meals at home compared to the pre-Covid-19 period”, although the momentum “moderated in April / May as that the restrictions have been relaxed ”.

JP Morgan buys nutmeg

And turning to the overnight news across the Atlantic, JPMorgan Chase (US: JPM) agreed to buy UK online investment platform Nutmeg.

Nutmeg – a company that aims to ‘democratize wealth management by empowering nations of investors’ – has more than 140,000 clients and more than £ 3.5 billion in assets under management. He said on Thursday that it “would form the foundation for the bank’s long-term international retail digital wealth management offering, complementing Chase’s launch as a digital bank in the UK more late this year “.

For our full analysis of today’s events, read the live blog below:

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