Confidence gains see realisation in January, BRC says

The British Retail Consortium has reported on how confidence gains were realised in January.

With a rise in sales, the first one since October, the Retail Sales Index from the ONS gave Kyle Monk, head of retail insights and analytics at the BRC, a sense of positivity for the start to the year.

Monk explained: “UK sales volumes up rose a modest 0.9% month-on-month in January, the first rise since October. Suggesting that the rise in consumer confidence since the December election may have lifted willingness to spend.

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“A rise in sales, coupled with the tightness in the labour market and inflation accelerating ahead of forecast, adds to the case that the Bank of England should hold off cutting interest rates.”

He went on to add: “However, weakness over the festive period means that sales volumes are only up 0.8% year on year and still down 0.8% on 3-month by 3-month basis. Despite the slight rally seen in January, markets have failed to react.

“It is essential progress is made quickly in the upcoming EU trade negotiations otherwise the UK risks squandering any boost to consumer confidence. Without a comprehensive deal, food and other goods will face extensive tariffs, checks and delays at the border – raising costs and creating disruption for consumers.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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