UK sales volumes rise in January

Sales volumes in the UK rose unexpectedly by 0.5 per cent in January after falling 1.2 per cent in December, according to the latest retail figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But the organisation said that sales volumes dropped 5.1 per cent compared with January 2022.

While online shopping was boosted by promotions, the ONS said that sales in food stores fell by 0.5 per cent as customers purchased less due to the higher cost-of-living.

Commenting on the figures, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson said that while January sales helped sales growth remain positive, the rise in consumer spending couldn’t keep up with double-digit inflation rates.

The results come as inflation reaches a near 40-year high of 10.1 per cent, largely driven by rising energy prices. However, the ONS said that inflation rates are starting to show signs of easing.

“With consumer confidence falling slightly, and high costs throughout the supply chain preventing prices from falling, it is a bumpy road for households,” continued Dickinson. “However, retailers are taking steps to cut costs and limit price rises where they can, to help their hard-pressed customers.”

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