UK Consumer Sentiment Fell Slightly in April

By Wiktor Szary Features Dow Jones Newswires

U. K. consumer sentiment weakened slightly in April, as British shoppers remained concerned about their own financial situation as well as the country's economic prospects over the year ahead, a survey showed Friday.

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The long-running barometer of consumer confidence, conducted for the European Union's executive by market researchers GfK U.K. Ltd., fell to minus 7 in April, down 1 point from the previous month.

This was in line with the expectations of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

As inflation accelerates, fueled by the pound's steep depreciation in the wake of the Brexit vote last year, Britons are facing a squeeze on their wages, which are now struggling to keep up with the rapid price growth.

This means that in the months ahead British shoppers are likely to rein in their spending, a key driver of the U.K.'s economic growth, potentially causing the whole economy to slow.

This comes at an awkward time for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who earlier this month called a surprise general election, seeking to strengthen her majority as she begins extricating the country from the European Union.

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Write to Wiktor Szary at Wiktor.Szary@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 27, 2017 19:14 ET (23:14 GMT)