0800 644 6080
Call FREE from Landline and Mobile
Est. 1989

Retailers Suffer ‘Disastrous December’ As Sales Fall Sharply

Written by: Keith Tully

Reviewed: Friday 20th January, 2017

Retailers Suffer ‘Disastrous December’ As Sales Fall SharplyRetailers around the UK suffered what one economist has called a “disastrous December” with overall sales levels falling sharply during the final month of 2016.

According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), sales among Britain’s retailers fell by 1.9 per cent during December as compared with the previous month.

That slide represents the steepest fall in retail sales numbers since April 2012 and has sparked concerns that 2017 could be a tough year for high street and online traders across the country.

Alan Clark from Scotiabank said the ONS’ numbers highlight the challenges retailers are facing and suggested that inflationary pressures are starting to take their toll on consumer spending habits.

Calling last month a disastrous December, Mr Clark has said that a pattern of falling retail sales “is likely to be the theme for the rest of the year”.

From a quarterly perspective retail sales have been rising consistently and were up by 5.6 per cent during the final three months of 2016 as compared with the same period of last year.

The figures for December also show that sales volumes among the UK’s retailers were up 4.3 per cent last month as compared with the final month of 2016.

However, experts had been expecting to see the comparable year to year figures for December up by 7.2 per cent.

A recent Reuters’ poll of economists forecast only a 0.1 per cent drop in December sales which now looks conspicuously optimistic given that the actual month-to-month figures were down by 1.9 per cent.

“The sharp decline in retail sales in December is the first sign that rising inflation and slowing job gains are forcing shoppers to curb their consumption,” said Samuel Tombs from Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Some economists have suggested that the relatively disappointing figures for December were offset to some extent at least by a notable surge in retail sales during October and November, which was attributed in large part to Black Friday sales events.

ONS figures show that store prices including fuel around the UK were 0.4 per cent higher in December than November and as much as 0.9 per cent higher on average than they were in December 2015.

Keith Tully

Author
Keith Tully
Partner

Join Keith Tully on Linked In Join Keith Tully on Google Plus Follow Keith Tully on Twitter

Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

Meet our Team of Experts
Who we help
  • Company Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Sole Traders
  • Accountants
  • Small Businesses
  • Large Businesses
  • Partnerships
Contact our team
Jonathan Munnery
Gillian Sayburn
Julie Palmer
Processing...
or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Business Rescue Advice for Directors
Free Guide for Limited Company Directors
Business Rescue Advice for Directors
  • How to manage company cash flow problems
  • Advice on dealing with HMRC
  • Understanding rescue and closure options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Desling with your Insolvent Clients
Business Rescue Guide for Accountants
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
  • Helping you advise insolvent clients
  • Spotting signs of client distress
  • Exploring business rescue options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Our numbers speak for themselves
75
Number of UK Offices
30000
Directors Helped
70+
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners