BCN-40 UK retail sales drop in December

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ZCZC

BCN-40

BRITAIN-ECONOMY-RETAIL-INDICATOR

UK retail sales drop in December

LONDON, Jan 18, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – British retail sales fell in December as
consumers held onto their cash after snapping up discounted Christmas gifts
the previous month, official data showed Friday.

Total sales slid 0.9 percent compared to November, the Office for National
Statistics calculated, with all sectors except food and fuel in decline.

That was slightly worse than analysts’ consensus forecast for a 0.8-percent
drop.

Sales had rebounded 1.3 percent in November as shoppers brought forward
Christmas spending to bag Black Friday bargains.

“Disappointment for retailers as sales volumes fell back markedly in
December after November’s spike,” noted EY analyst Howard Archer.

“This pointed to Black Friday-related promotions primarily bringing retail
purchases forward to November from December rather than lifting sales
overall.”

Recent data from the GfK institute showed that consumer confidence in
Britain fell to its lowest level in five years in December, as the purchasing
power of wages was eroded by Brexit-fuelled inflation.

“Consumers were clearly relatively cautious in their spending over the
Christmas period, which ties in with the GfK consumer confidence index
falling back in December to its lowest level since mid-2013 amid heightened
concerns over the economy and Brexit,” Archer noted.

BSS/AFP/SR/1810 HRS