Some figures deserve commenting on and the December retail sales figures, up 2.6% (in volume) and 5.3% on a year earlier, certainly do. Volumes excluding road fuel jumped by 2.8% on the month. Have shoppers gone bananas? No, but they left it late. October and November were subdued, December very strong.
Despite the jump, retail sales in the fourth quarter were only 0.4% up on the previous quarter, though 3.2% higher than a year earlier. Even so, consumer spending will make a positive contribution to Q4 GDP growth. Smaller retailers, gratifyingly, did better in December than their bigger competitors. More here.