You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

More high street gloom as sales fall in December

Written by: Danielle Levy
Retail sales slumped in December, as Brexit uncertainty took its toll on consumer confidence.

UK retail sales fell 0.9% between November and December and were 0.2% lower over the three months to December 2018.

UK consumer confidence has continued to decline, which is understandable at a time when the UK’s exit path from the European Union remains uncertain.

All categories of retail, except for food and fuel, fell during December.

Through the course of 2018, the quantity bought by consumers increased by 2.7%. However, this compares to a peak of 4.7% in 2016.

There appears to be further evidence of the so-called ‘death of the high street’. In December 2018, online retailing accounted for 20% of total retailing, with overall growth of 13.9% when compared with the same month a year earlier.

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, explained: “For many economists this will be a further reflection of the state of consumer confidence. Although others will point out that December’s figures were poor because seasonal sales were pulled earlier into the November Black Friday sales.”

He pointed out that volumes at general merchandise retailers fell back the most during the month, mirroring what we have seen so far from the trading updates from major listed retailers. However, supermarkets have on the whole reported better numbers.

“This latest set of numbers will support the view that the economy slowed in the final three months of 2018. However, some economists are taking a positive slant from here since the retail caution can largely be blamed on the Brexit uncertainty,” Miah explained.

“With it looking more unlikely that a no-deal exit will be the outcome and the latest set of inflation and wage growth numbers showing real incomes rising, the retail environment could begin to see moderately better prospects from the spring onwards,” he added.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

Few people had heard of ‘furlough’ before March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic thrust the idea of bein...

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get in the second lockdown?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Five money tips to keep the January blues at bay

With Blue Monday (21 January) just around the corner, Online Tax Rebates’ director Tony Mills outlines five tips to stay...