Retail sales fall more than expected
26 Jan 2018
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that retail sales dropped by 1.5 per cent in December, well below the 0.8 per cent drop analysts had pencilled in, and more than reversing a 1.1 per cent rise in November, which had been powered by Black Friday discounting.
The annual growth rate of sales volumes fell to 1.4 per cent in December, well below the 3 per cent City analysts had expected.
On a quarterly basis, the growth in sales volumes was 0.4 per cent, the weakest rate seen since the beginning of 2017, when volumes fell by 1.2 per cent.
“The longer-term picture is one of slowing growth, with increased prices squeezing people’s spending,” says ONS statistician Rhian Murphy.
“Retailers that have a strong online presence tend to able to adapt swiftly to changes in demand and can offer discounts and other incentives that are attractive to consumers,” a spokesperson adds.
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