World Economy

UK Retail Sales Drop Sharply

UK Retail Sales Drop SharplyUK Retail Sales Drop Sharply

UK retail sales fell steeply on the month in December, new figures showed Friday, with Britons paring back spending after taking advantage of Black Friday discounts the previous month, MarketWatch reported. While retail makes up only a small part of the UK’s economic activity, the latest data signal that the consumer squeeze evident since the 2016 Brexit vote is not letting up. This is a concern for the largely domestic-driven economy, which had already slowed in 2017. The office for national statistics said sales fell by 1.5% compared with the previous month. This was nearly double the decline anticipated by analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal. December’s was the steepest monthly drop in sales since June 2016, the month of the Brexit referendum, and the biggest decline for that month in seven years. The fall followed a 1% monthly increase in November, driven by Black Friday discounts as well as by Britons’ early Christmas purchases, government statisticians said.

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