UK February retail sales -0.3% vs +0.2% m/m expected

Author: Justin Low | Category: News

Latest data released by ONS - 26 March 2020

  • Prior +0.9%; revised to +1.1%
  • Retail sales 0.0% vs +0.7% y/y expected
  • Prior +0.8%; revised to +0.9%
  • Retail sales (ex autos, fuel) -0.5% vs -0.2% m/m expected
  • Prior +1.6%;revised to +1.8%
  • Retail sales (ex autos, fuel) +0.5% vs +1.1% y/y expected
  • Prior +1.2%; revised to +1.3%
Slight delay in the release by the source. ONS notes that poor weather is to blame for the fall in retail sales and the annual reading coming in flat isn't pretty, which marks the weakest growth rate since March 2013.

ONS also adds that February retail sales were largely unaffected by the virus outbreak, noting that only some online orders from China were delayed.

I would expect retail activity to be much worse in the coming months due to the virus outbreak and lockdown measures so this already isn't the best of starts to the year for the UK economy, despite the post-election bounce in January.

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