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UK retail sales rise strongly in January – BRC


Oxford St shoppersBritish retail sales rose strongly in January, boosted by the popularity of tablet computers and smartphones while cheerier shoppers were also lured by special offers, a leading trade body said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The British Retail Consortium said the total value of goods sold was up 3% compared to January 2011 – the largest increase since September. It rose 1.5% in December.

On a like-for-like basis, which excludes new floorspace, sales were 1.9% higher. That was the fastest rise since December 2011 and followed a 0.3% tick-up in sales in December 2012.

People were tempted out by offers and promotions but also treated themselves to full-price and premium products early in January, particularly must-have technology items. These factors, coupled with recovering consumer confidence, have added up to a more successful January than we saw last year,” said BRC Director General Helen Dickinson.

The findings, which follow a survey showing a surprise pick-up in British consumer morale last month, may raise hopes that the economy will grow in the first quarter of 2013, dodging a ‘triple-dip’ recession.

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