UK Retail Sales miss estimates with 0.3% MoM in December, GBP/USD hits fresh lows

  • The UK Retail Sales came in at 0.3% MoM in December.
  • Core Retail Sales for the UK rose b y0.4 % MoM in December.
  • The cable hits fresh daily lows below 1.37 on dismal UK Retail Sales.

The UK retail sales came in at 0.3% over the month in December vs. 1.2% expected and -3.8% previous. The core retail sales, stripping the auto motor fuel sales, stood at 0.4% MoM vs. 0.8% expected and -2.6% previous.          

On an annualized basis, the UK retail sales rose by 2.9% in December versus 4.0% expected and 2.4% prior while the core retail sales increased by 6.4% in the reported month versus 7.0% expectations and 5.6% previous.

Main points (via ONS)

“Clothing stores reported strong monthly growth of 21.5%, rebounding from a large fall in November 2020 when stores were closed because of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

“In 2020 as a whole, estimates of the quantity bought decreased by 1.9% when compared with 2019, the largest year-on-year fall on record.”

“Total online retailing values increased by 46.1% in 2020 when compared with 2019, the highest annual growth reported since 2008.”

FX implications

The bearish pressure around the pound intensified on the downbeat UK Retail Sales data for December.

GBP/USD was last seen trading at daily lows of 1.3674, down 0.40% on the day.

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