United Kingdom retail sales fall in December

United Kingdom retail sales fall in December

Quarterly sales from a year earlier held at growth of just 1%, the worst readings since May 2013.

That marked the biggest month-on-month fall since June 2016, the month Britons voted to leave the European Union, as well as the weakest December performance for seven years.

Meanwhile, excluding fuel, retail sales fell 1.6 per cent between November and December, against expectations of a 0.8 per cent fall, and down from a 1.1 per cent rise the month before.

He further added: "Retail sales continued to grow in the last three months of the year partly due to Black Friday deals boosting spending".

The research reveals that shopping for Christmas has shifted in recent years, from being mainly in December to more in November, as consumers seem to be starting their purchasing earlier in line with Black Friday promotions.

December Retail sales in the United Kingdom have dropped by 1.5 percent from November highlighting low consumer spending due to rising prices, revealed the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), total average weekly household spending recovered to pre-financial crisis levels for the first time in the 12 months to the end of March 2017.

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In 1957, average weekly household expenditure on tobacco made up 6% of total spending - but by 2017 this was down to 1%, mirroring a decline in the popularity of smoking.

The ONS also stated that the trend towards online spending was continuing, with nearly one in five pounds now being spent online.

Rhian Murphy, a senior statistician at the ONS, said that the long-term picture for Britain's retail environment was one of "slowing growth, with increased prices squeezing people's spending".

The pound retreated slightly against the dollar, pulling back from its 18-month highs, and versus euro on the news.

But whatever distortions were caused by Black Friday sales, analysts were doubtful it did retailers any good.

Higher inflation, coupled with earnings failing to keep pace, has been a thorn in the side of the retail sector as the squeeze on shoppers' budgets has dented demand for non-essential goods.

Ruth Gregory at Capital Economics said that, given the volatility in the data around this time of year, it was hard to get a clear picture of underlying growth.

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