UK Consumers Spent Less on Food Over Christmas

Tuesday 09 January, 2018 Written by  IoD
UK Consumers Spent Less on Food Over Christmas

Rising food costs meant consumers spent less on a splurge over the Christmas, new research suggests.

According to the British Retail Consortium, like-for-like retail sales rose 0.6% in December, compared with last December's 1% increase. The BRC said consumer spending power 'had been absorbed by essential items' as food sales accounted for most of the rise. Spending on non-food items such as clothing was down sharply. As a consequence, retailers were forced to slash prices on food in the lead-up to Christmas. While this did boost overall sales, many retailers saw their profits for the period hit.  BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said "the divergence between growth in sales of food and non-food has never been so stark". 

Inflation is currently at a six-year high of 3.1%, outpacing growth in earnings. This means many shoppers are spending more on basic essentials. 

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