UK data coming up Friday - December retail sales - previews

Author: Eamonn Sheridan | Category: News

Just a quickie from Barclays on what they are expecting from tonight's data

  • We expect retail sales to contract 2% m/m in December and print 1.6% y/y.
  • Credit card index data were mixed in December with Barclays' spend trends up (data including black Friday and cyber Monday) but the Visa Expenditure index down (the worst December since 2012).
  • Retail price inflation is expected to have remained stable at close to 3%.
Also, preview via Nomura:
  • December is of course the most important month of the year for retail sales.
  • So far the evidence has been patchy - the CBI distributive trades survey (volumes growth) has remained upbeat, and while the BRC measure of growth remains in positive territory it is modest at 0.6% (nominal)/1.2% real (like-for-like).
  • Visa's expenditure index fell by around 2.5% in December versus a year earlier while John Lewis sales were up to a similar degree.
  • Measures of footfall were down noticeably. Individual retailers have reported varied success, with some retailers performing better than expected (Next, for example) and some worse (Debenhams).
  • Coming on the back of a strong rise in official sales in November, we suspect that December may be weaker and forecast flat sales volumes month-on-month.

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