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UK Retail Sales Rise in December

British retail sales came in way above expectations in December, official data showed on Friday, with strong growth at smaller stores resulting in the largest annual rise since 2004.
Retail sales volumes rose by 2.6 percent on the month, according to figures released by the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) — the largest increase since February 2010. Economists had expected a 0.4 percent monthly rise, following an increase of 0.3 percent in November.

On the year, meanwhile, retail sales expanded by 5.3 percent — significantly higher than the 2.6 percent hike forecast by economists.

Small retailers fared much better than larger stores, with sales 8.1 percent higher at small shops in December compared with the same month in 2012. By contrast, sales rose by 2.6 percent at large retailers.

Howard Archer, chief U.K. and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said the data indicated that consumers had postponed their spending to cash in on last-minute deals.
“The surge in retail sales in December following a muted overall performance in November and October indicates that consumers left much of their Christmas spending late in the hope of getting better late deals from retailers,” he said in a note.

via CNBC [1]

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza [6]

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse [7]
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza