Unexpected dip in retail sales in December sends pound tumbling
Friday 18 January 2013
A surprise December sales slump capped a nightmare week for Britain's beleaguered retailers today.
Official figures revealing a 0.3 per cent sales fall during the festive period dealt the latest blow to a high street reeling after the collapse of HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops in recent days. Some 10,000 jobs are at risk.
The figures hit the pound and confounded City hopes of a respite from the gloom, intensifying fears that the economy is poised to slip into an unprecedented triple-dip recession.
Nida Ali, the economic adviser to the Ernst & Young Item Club, warned: "The last couple of months have seen a visible loss of momentum in the retail sector, and today's figures are a continuation of that trend."
The disastrous month means the retail industry has seen its worst year-on-year growth – a paltry 0.3 per cent – since 1998 if the blizzards of December 2010 are discounted, the Office for National Statistics added.
The detailed data showed household goods stores such as DIY and electrical retailers worst hit, with sales volumes down 3 per cent over the month. "Other" stores – ranging from sportswear to jewellers – also dropped 1 per cent as non-food retailers overall saw sales slip 0.7 per cent.
Department stores grew sales 0.4 per cent, echoing the few bright spots in the sector, such as John Lewis, which reported another buoyant week today. In contrast with the widespread woes of bricks and mortar retailers, online sales were up 1.6 per cent and grew to 10.6 per cent of all retail sales over the month, up from 9.4 per cent a year earlier.
Justin Bieber was one of the hardest hit
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...