The UK Statistics Authority reported a sharp decline in retail sales in January. Compared to the previous month, they fell by 8.2%. Such a significant reduction in the difference has not been observed in the country since April last year.
On an annualized basis, the indicator decreased by 5.9%. The published data came as a surprise to analysts. They predicted a 2.5% and 1.3% drop in sales in January, respectively. The reason for such negative dynamics was the closure of stores that do not sell essential goods due to the growing number of coronavirus diseases in the country.
The most significant drop in January sales was recorded in stores selling clothing and footwear. They decreased by 34% compared to sales in the corresponding month of 2020. The calculation of the dynamics of retail sales excluding fuel showed their decline in monthly and annual terms by 8.8% and 3.8%. At the same time, the share of online sales in the UK reached a record in January. It was 35.2%.