It seems that Slade, tinsel and frequent festive adverts weren’t enough to get the UK population out and spending on early Christmas shopping in November.
Although economists forecast a modest gain in UK retail sales for November the figure actually failed to increase.
According to the Office for National Statistics retail sales held at the level seen in October (when they unexpectedly plummeted by 0.7).
Economists participating in a Bloomberg News survey forecast a modest increase of 0.4 per cent.
One industry expert commented: ‘Retail activity remains under pressure as households struggle to see the end of the current economic uncertainties. We suspect retail sales will remain flat in the first part of 2013 as the economic outlook is not going to improve much.’
Similarly, the head of economic analysis with CBI stated that: ‘weak spending power and uncertainty over the economic outlook are likely to remain key risks to the retail sector in 2013.’
The ONS statistics revealed that inflation held at 2.7 per cent last month whilst sales at non-specialised stored dropped by 1.5 per cent and retail sales excluding fuel were up just 0.1 per cent on the month. Shoe/clothing and food sales both declined by 0.1 per cent.
The best result came from sales of household goods, including electronics, which experienced its largest increase for over two years, bounding 3.8 per cent on the month.
Although some retailers, including John Lewis, are performing well despite the difficult financial environment a survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry forecast less impressive-than-expected gains in retail sales for the first half of December.
These latest disappointing figures contribute to a string of less than inspiring data releases for the UK and add to fears that the economy may enter a triple-dip recession by returning to contraction in the fourth quarter.
After the news the Pound shed recent gains made against its American counterpart.
As of 10:55 am
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2277
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6268
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5494
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.3246
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8141