UK retail sales decline as PM imposes new restrictions
19 Feb 2021
Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Gulf Today Report
British retail sales slid in January as non-essential shops went back into lockdown according to official data.
Retail sales volumes fell 8.2% compared with December, a far bigger fall than the 2.5% decrease forecast.
According to ONS statistician Jonathan Athow, "the decrease seen this time was not as large as that of the first lockdown, as some stores have adapted to the current circumstances, with services such as click-and-collect helping to cushion the fall."
Rishi Sunak, UK's finance minister will be announcing his next spending and tax plans on March 3.
It is expected that he will extend the government’s wages subsidies for the hardest-hit sectors.
Britain's economy - which had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020 when it shrank by 10% - is on course to contract by 4% in the first three months of 2021, according to the Bank of England, due to the latest lockdowns.