Retail sales drop in December

  • In the three months to December 2019, the quantity bought in retail sales decreased by 1.0% when compared with the previous three months.
  • All sectors except household goods stores and fuel saw a decline in the quantity bought for the three-month on three-month movement; driven mainly by non-food stores at negative 1.0%.
  • The quantity bought in December 2019 fell by 0.6% when compared with the previous month; the fifth consecutive month of no growth.
  • The quantity bought in food stores fell by 1.3% for the monthly growth rate, which was the largest fall since December 2016, also at 1.3%.
  • Comparing the three months to December 2019 against the same three months a year ago, growth in the quantity bought increased by 1.6% in December 2019, despite a strong decline of 2.2% for department stores.
  • Online sales as a proportion of all retailing was 19.0% in December 2019, compared with the 18.6% reported in November 2019.

Commenting on today’s retail sales figures, ONS Head of Retail Sales Rhian Murphy said:

“Retail sales fell sharply in the latest three months with almost all sectors showing a decline.

“The longer-term picture is still one of growth, although it has slowed considerably in recent months.

“December was the fifth consecutive month with no growth as food stores suffered particularly poor sales, showing the steepest fall for three years.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *