Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Beer sales slump by almost 10%

Beer sales have slumped by almost 10 per cent in the past few months, new figures show

Beer sales have slumped by almost 10% in the past few months, including a 15% fall in supermarkets, new figures reveal.

Pub sales were down by 4.5% in the three months to June as beer tax and VAT rises wiped out the positive impact of the warm weather and royal wedding, said the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

In the year to June, beer sales were down by 7.1% as the cumulative impact of tax rises added 10p to the price of a pint in pubs, said the report.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "Beer sales are a barometer of Britain's economic confidence. With last year's sales figures benefiting from the World Cup effect, which has historically boosted sales, sustaining volumes was always a challenge.

"The royal wedding gave a welcome boost to this quarter's beer sales, but beer tax rises are now hitting our brewers hard and undermining recovery.

"We warned the Chancellor that further beer tax rises would hinder job growth in our sector. Duty increases are fuelling inflation and stifling investment.

"Taxing beer fairly would create thousands of new jobs and substantial extra tax revenues at a time when we are all looking for private sector-led recovery."

The BBPA, whose members cover 96% of beer brewed in the UK, said beer duty had risen by 35% since 2008.

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