Retail sales rise 6.9% over Christmas

The BRC has reported that sales on a total basis increased by 6.9% in December 2022, compared with the prior increase of 2.1% in December 2021.

These figures are said to be above both the three-month average growth of 4.4% and the 12-month average growth of 3.1%.

Meanwhile, the UK’s total retail sales for 2022 increased by 3.1% from 2021, with food sales increasing by 3% and non-food sales increasing by 3.2% for the year.

The UK’s retail sales also increased 6.5% on a like-for-like basis from December 2021, when they only increased by 0.6%. This was above the three-month average growth of 4.1% and the 12-month average growth of 1.8%.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of BRC, said: “After an exceptionally challenging year which saw inflation climb and consumer confidence plummet, the uptick in spending over Christmas gave many retailers cause for cheer. Nonetheless, despite the stronger sales, growth remained below inflation, making December the ninth consecutive month of falling volumes.

“Retail faces further headwinds in 2023. Cost pressures show little immediate signs of waning, and consumer spending will be further constrained by increasing living costs. Retailers are juggling big cost increases while trying to keep prices as low as possible for their customers.”

She added: “From April, they will be hit with an additional £7.5bn energy bill should the Government’s Energy Support Scheme expire. We hope the Chancellor’s announcement this week will provide the necessary extension, or further price rises will be inevitable.”

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