LONDON (AA) – December Retail sales in the U.K. have dropped by 1.5 percent from November highlighting low consumer spending due to rising prices, revealed the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday.
Sales slid by more than expected, economists had forecast December sales to drop by 0.6 percent .
For 2017 as a whole, retail sales increased by 1.9 percent, which was the lowest annual growth since 2013.
According to the ONS, low consumer spending is due to the majority of Christmas shopping taking place during Black Friday sales instead of December.
“The longer-term picture is one of slowing growth, with increased prices squeezing people’s spending,” Rhian Murphy, ONS Senior Statistician said regarding to the retail sales data.
The inflation rate dipped to 3 percent in December, down from November's rate of 3.1 percent, according to official data.