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Consumer durables

Yet, as the table shows, shares in these two have done nicely over the past year and in neither case has the momentum run out of gas even if it’s getting low at Greene King. Meanwhile, the performance of Topps Tiles has been such that at, at the current 78p share price, I have had to reset the stop-loss level on the income portfolio's holding, which I bought at 63p each in November.

Their share price strength owes something to the UK’s macroeconomic performance, which has been far better than the gloomy prognostications that have become so familiar since 2016’s referendum. The table offers some clues here. In the latest data, UK wages now average £497 per week; more important, their rate of growth has easily outstripped inflation over the past three years and especially over the past year. Understandably, therefore, consumers feel better off than what’s implied by the Brexit narrative of national resentment. That has boosted consumer spending – proxied in the table by retail sales volumes – which has grown faster than earnings in each period shown in the table.

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