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ONS reports retail growth ‘slowdown’

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced a “slowdown” in retail growth for the whole of 2018 which it said increased by 2.7% in the quantity bought, 2% less than the peak of 4.7% experienced in 2016.

For the three months to December 2018 estimates in quantity bought declined across all main sectors except fuel, decreasing by 0.2%. When compared with the previous month, the quantity bought last December decreased by 0.9%, as all sectors except food stores and fuel stores declined on the month.

Retail spend for the December period increased by 3.7% in comparison with the same period in 2017, whilst the most recent three months saw a 4.1% increase on the same three months last year.

Online retail across the same period accounted for 20% of total retailing, with an overall growth of 14% when compared with the same month a year earlier. Weekly online spending across the period reached almost £2bn.

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