January retail figures - Strong rebound following a weak December

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: January retail figures - Strong rebound following a weak December.

The Office for National Statistics has reported retail sales figures in Great Britain for January:

  • Retail sales volumes rebounded by 3.4% in January 2024 following a record fall of 3.3% in December. 
  • Non-food store sales volumes rose by 3.0% in January 2024, Food rose by 3.4%
  • Clothing was the only category to report declining sales, down 1.4%

Charlie Huggins, Manager of the Quality Shares Portfolio at Wealth Club commented: “Retail sales volumes rebounded strongly following a weak December, registering the largest monthly rise in almost three years. 

“UK consumer spending is proving highly volatile from one month to the next. The December figures suggested signs of pressure, whereas January's figures indicate the UK consumer is still in rude health. 

“The reality is probably somewhere in between. Higher interest rates and cost of living challenges continue to present challenges for many, but employment remains high and wages are still rising at a decent clip. 

Overall, there is certainly no sign of widespread doom and gloom from these figures. But the volatile nature of UK consumer spending indicates a degree of caution, and makes retail trading patterns for the balance of the year even more difficult to predict than usual."

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