Overall, January’s sharp fall in spending growth (+0.4 per cent) seems to justify our long-held view that consumers would react once inflation started to bite and personal finances came under pressure. Accordingly, inflation rose to 1.8 per cent in January while the latest earnings data showed a rise of just 2.5 per cent. Consequently, in the last six months, real earnings growth has halved, falling from c.1.4 per cent to just c.0.7 per cent. This sharp contraction in spending power has hit households hard judging by the latest retail sales data. However, with consumer credit remaining buoyant in the run-up to Christmas, January’s weakness is likely to reflect payback from a Christmas hangover.In recent years consumer spending has been held up by the growth of the ‘experience economy’, which arguably has come at the expense of the retail sector. We are curious at how robust it will prove under the pressure of squeezed personal finances. Our survey showed almost one in four consumers suggested that they would cut back on eating out and takeaways if they felt their personal finances were under pressure. This was followed by areas in leisure such as pubs, cinemas, bowling, theatre and concerts. Clothing and Footwear was ranked fourth.
UK Retail Sales Report
Retail Economics reports a range of retail sales indices on a monthly basis. Subscribers have access to all data (analytical reports and interactive data) and category breakdowns including online retail sales, clothing and footwear, household goods, food, DIY and gardening, consumer electricals and more.
UK Retail Sales - February 2017
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The UK Retail Sales report includes:
|Summary and economic overview|
|Sales growth by category (year-on-year)|
|Online sales growth (year-on-year)|
|Sales spend by region|
|Total spend by sector|
|Average weekly spend (£m)|
|Footfall by channel|
|Summary of external retail sales sources including Office for National Statistics, British Retail Consortium, CBI, BDO, John Lewis, Visa and more|