UK retail sales down 1.5% in December

In the latest three months the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 0.4% compared with the previous three months; while the underlying pattern remains one of growth, this is the weakest quarterly growth since the decline of 1.2% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017.

On the month, the quantity bought decreased by 1.5% when compared with strong sales in November 2017.

In December 2017, the quantity bought increased by 1.4% when compared with December 2016, with positive contributions from all stores except food stores.

For the whole of 2017, the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 1.9%; the lowest annual growth since 2013.

Internet sales continued to increase when compared with previous years, with physical stores dominating online sales growth in December.