Long run of dismal figures for retail sales is expected to end this week, delivering a welcome boost for the economy
A long run of dismal figures for retail sales is expected to end this week, delivering a welcome boost for the economy.
Official numbers for activity in January, due on Thursday, are likely to show some return to growth after five months of either flat or declining sales.
The volume of retail sales fell by 0.6 per cent in December compared with November.
And once motor fuel such as petrol was excluded, the figures were even worse, with both the volume and value of sales dropping 0.8 per cent.
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But the British Retail Consortium said its sales monitor, covering the period up to January 20, showed sales had picked up.
Chief executive Helen Dickinson said: ‘January saw a return to growth. However, recent political uncertainty and a decade of austerity appear to have ingrained a more thrifty approach among consumers.’
Peter Dixon, international economist at Commerzbank, said this week’s figures from the Office for National Statistics ‘will be the first post-Christmas and post-Election monthly numbers’.
He added: ‘It will be interesting to see if the Boris factor has positively affected consumer sentiment.’
Alasdair McKinnon, manager of Scottish Investment Trust, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I would not expect any fireworks, but I am interested to see how the first full set of post-Election figures turn out.’