UK December retail sales -0.6% vs +0.6% m/m expected

Author: Justin Low | Category: News

Latest data released by ONS - 17 January 2020

  • Prior -0.6%; revised to -0.8%
  • Retail sales +0.9% vs +2.7% y/y expected
  • Prior +1.0%; revised to +0.8%
  • Retail sales (ex autos, fuel) -0.8% vs +0.8% m/m expected
  • Prior -0.6%; revised to -0.8%
  • Retail sales (ex autos, fuel) +0.7% vs +3.0% y/y expected
  • Prior +0.8%; revised to +0.6%
Those are some poor readings despite the fact that the release today account for Black Friday sales, with the negative revisions to the November reading compounding the misery. This represents the fifth consecutive month of no growth in retail sales in the UK.

The pound has pared its earlier gains with cable falling to 1.3072 currently from around 1.3110 before the report was released. This will surely heighten more worries about a BOE rate cut to take place sooner rather than later.

On the report, ONS notes that food store sales fell the most in three years and the fact that retail sales have not risen on a monthly basis since July represents the longest stretch for such an occurrence since records began in 1996.

As a whole, Q4 retail sales data likely indicates a 0.05% drag in GDP.

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