Retail sales in the U.K. rose less than expected in July, dampening optimism over the country’s economic outlook, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the U.K. Office for National Statistics said retail sales increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month, below forecasts for a 0.4% gain. June retail sales increased by 0.2%.

Year-on-year, retail sales rose at an annualized rate of 2.6% in July, below expectations for a 3% gain, after rising at a rate of 3.4% in June.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% last month, compared to forecasts for a 0.4% gain, after falling 0.1% in the preceding month.

Following the release of the data, the pound added to losses against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD shedding 0.14% to trade at 1.6572, compared to 1.6587 before the data.

Meanwhile, European stock markets were higher. London’s FTSE 100 tacked on 0.25%, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.7%, France’s CAC 40 inched up 0.6%, while Germany's DAX advanced 0.4%.






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