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Pretty awful retail sales data

UK DATA
  • Pretty awful retail sales report for December. Non-food stores in particular hit by a drop in footfall associated with Omicron. But online sales and food sales also both fell as well as fuel sales (as more people worked from home).
  • Probably the most positive thing we can say about the report are that it followed a decent November print (with some Christmas spending having been pulled forward due to concerns of shortages in December and concerns there would be another lockdown).
  • It is also worth noting that for the calendar year 2021, we saw 5.1% growth in retail sales over 2020. This was the highest since 2004 (also 5.1%) and was last higher in 2002 (5.7%).
  • As we expected market reaction very subdued in the pound. This may combine with the negative sentiment from the consumer confidence number released overnight to weigh on sentiment at the open for SONIA futures, however. And as we have seen with a number of data releases recently, it is the move in SONIA futures rather than the data release itself that is largely driving the pound at present.
  • Overall, its hard to really see this swaying an MPC member who is concerned about inflation. So its market-impact from that perspective should be limited.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3820 | tim.davis@marketnews.com
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3820 | tim.davis@marketnews.com

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