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ONS: UK retail sales recover in January


Published :
Mon, 21 Feb 2011 02:53
By : financemarkets.co.uk
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”ONS:

Retail sales recovered in January after the heavy snowfall in December knocked sales.


According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the volume of retail sales rose 1.9% in January on a monthly basis.


Not only did the figures exceed analysts’ forecasts of a 0.5% rise, it was way ahead of December’s 1.4% monthly fall.


Meanwhile, on an annual basis, sales volumes were 5.3% higher in January – the best annual increase for more than six years. Again, this was better than analysts forecasts of an annual increase of 4.1%.


However, it must be highlighted that sales growth could be attributed to heavy discounts and a rush to beat the VAT hike on 4 January.


Furthermore, the figures compare to January 2010 – when the country was hit by severe disruption due to snow and ice.


Meanwhile, VAT was lifted from 17.5% to 20% on 4 January 2011 and this is expected to impact negatively on future consumer spending.


Furthermore, rising inflation means consumers are facing higher prices.






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