A huge disappointment in the UK data

20 January, 2017

UK retail sales fell most since 2012. We see he fastest pace of decline in almost five years in December. It is due to sales of... pretty much everything from household goods to clothing and food. 

According to ONS the volume of goods sold in stores and online fell 1.9 percent from November ONS says that it was the biggest drop since April 2012 and far exceeded the 0.1 percent decline predicted by economists. Sales excluding auto fuel declined 2 percent.

According to ONS, sales of household goods fell 7.3 percent in December, it’s the biggest drop since January 2010. Clothing and footwear declined 3.7 percent, the biggest drop in a year, and department stores saw sales decline 1.2 percent. Food sales declined 0.5 percent and sales of auto fuel fell 1.1 percent.

What are the Possible explanations?  Some statisticians point to rising prices and consumers scaling back purchases after taking advantage of Black Friday discounts the previous month.The fourth quarter as a whole saw sales rise 1.2 percent, meaning the sector made a 0.1 percentage point contribution to gross domestic product.

We saw a very poor reading from the UK, but the trend remains positive, source: Macrobond, XTB

According to ONS Consumers  now face a squeeze from rapidly accelerating inflation. As a reminder, the price of retail goods sold in December, as measured by the deflator, increased on an annual basis by 0.9 percent, the most in three years. Excluding auto fuel, they increased 0.1 percent, the first gain since 2014. Total retail sales rose 4.3 percent from a year earlier, the ONS said.

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