Strong UK retail sales for January, 4% year-on-year rise

Retail sales for January bounced back strongly in 2019, following a fall in December. As Westminster obsesses over Project Fear, businesses and the public are getting on with it.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that retail sales grew by 1%, which equates to year-on-year growth of 4.2%. This way above the 0.2% and 3.6% forecasts from a Reuters poll of economists.

Year-on-year prices also slowed to 0.4%, the slowest pace of growth since November 2016.

As Rhian Murphy, from the ONS, explains: “Clothing stores saw strong sales, luring consumers with price reductions, with food sales also growing after a slight dip after Christmas.

This follows on from inflation dipping down to 1.8% and the highest wage growth since 2008. What are hardline Remainers and many pundits so grumpy about?