The latest look at the health of the retail sector by the British Retail Consortium, released this morning, has revealed that retail sales in the United Kingdom increased 6.5% on a like-for-like basis in December 2022 from a year ago, accelerating from a 4.1% rise in November amid higher cost of goods and the Christmas boost.

However, the rate of growth lagged behind inflation. December’s figure was also the highest since January, but remained well below the pace of UK inflation which surged 10.7% in November, not far from a 4-decade high of 11.1% recorded in October. 

CEO and Founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith, commented:

“December was always likely to bring a degree of festive cheer to the retail sector via a seasonal spike in activity driven by Christmas consumer activity. 

Unfortunately this momentary festive foray into our high street retail outlets doesn’t hide the fact that the retail sector faces a very tough outlook for the year ahead. 

While rising inflation is causing us spend more per item, the financial pressure of the current cost of living crisis is forcing many consumers to buy less.

Retailers are also having to combat increasings costs while attempting to entice customers and with little sign of respite on the horizon, the current landscape is tricky, to say the least.”