UK retail sales fall sharply in December, says ONS

Purvai Dua

Source: @Photoshot

‘The longer-term picture is one of slowing growth’

Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK retail sales have witnessed the biggest fall since the 2016 Brexit referendum vote with the overall sales rising by 1.9 per cent in 2017. This has been the weakest annual growth rate since 2013.

The ONS also stated that the trend towards online spending was continuing, with almost one in five pounds now being spent online. The quantity of goods bought dropped 1.5 per cent in December from a “strong” month in November.

This was due to the rising Black Friday sales, where many shoppers shifted spending to November from December to take advantage of Black Friday offers.

“The longer-term picture is one of slowing growth, with increased prices squeezing people’s spending,” said Rhian Murphy of the ONS.

He further added: “Retail sales continued to grow in the last three months of the year partly due to Black Friday deals boosting spending. Consumers continue to move Christmas purchases earlier with higher spending in November and lower spending in December than seen in previous years.”


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