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UK retail sales plunged in December

Consumers’ belt-tightening raises fears that recession looms for the UK economy.

19 January 2024

Alarmingly, UK retail sales collapsed in December in what should have been a robust trading period. The volume of goods sold dropped -3.2%, the biggest monthly slide in nearly three years, versus estimates of a more modest -0.5% fall. A double bubble of bad news this week for UK Plc with inflation tracking up again and consumers pulling back on purchases will only add to concerns that the economy is probably already in a recession. This is in stark contrast to the picture on the other side of the Atlantic, with US consumers still ebullient.

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Charles Hepworth

Investment Director
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