UK Retail Sales Decline More Than Expected In December

UK retail sales declined more than expected at the end of the year, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Retail sales fell 3.7 percent on a monthly basis in December, reversing the 1 percent increase a month ago. Sales were forecast to fall 0.6 percent. This was the biggest decline since January 2021.

Likewise, sales volume excluding auto fuel, decreased 3.6 percent after rising 0.7 percent in November. The decline was much bigger than the economists’ forecast of -0.5 percent.

Non-food store sales declined sharply by 7.1 percent in December and food-store sales were down 1.0 percent from the previous year.

Year-on-year, retail sales decreased 0.9 percent, in contrast to the 4.3 percent increase seen in November and the economists’ expectations +3.4 percent.

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales were down 3 percent, reversing the 2.2 percent increase in the prior month. Economists had forecast annual fall of 1.1 percent.

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