Why the sudden fall?
According to official figures retail sales in the UK fell by 1.9 per cent in December.
The Office for National Statistics said all major retail sectors saw a loss, the heaviest decline came from non-food outlets.
It has been the biggest monthly fall for four and half years.
Analysts at Lloyds also said the discounts that came with Black Friday made it “even harder… to keep shoppers spending during December”,
Experts had only predicted a fall of 0.1 per cent in the month.
Martin Beck, senior economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said “the squeeze on households’ real incomes is gradually tightening, implying a tough 2017 for retailers”.
Compared with last year retail sales in the month of December were up 4.3 per cent.
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