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January retail sales jump by 1% following high street reductions

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Retail sales have bounced back by 1% in January, following a harsh December drop by 0.7%, official figures showed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the volume of goods sold is 4.2% higher in comparison to January 2018, with clothing discounts boosting sales.

This is the biggest annual rise since December 2016 and has beaten most economists’ expectations.

The BBC reported that, ONS statistician, Rhian Murphy, said: “Clothing stores saw strong sales, luring consumers with price reductions, with food sales also growing after a slight dip after Christmas.”

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The findings are in line with those from the British Retail Consortium, which highlighted that shops saw their fastest sales growth for seven months in January.

Other recent data has shown wages are picking up after years of stagnation and are rising quicker than inflation.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told the BBC: “January’s jump in retail sales shows that most households have maintained a happy-go-lucky mentality, despite the fraught political situation. While consumers’ confidence is down, this reflects rather fuzzy expectations that Brexit might be costly eventually.”

Tags : British Retail Consortiumoffice for national statisticsRetailsales

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