In January we learnt that GDP grew by a solid 0.6% in the last quarter of 2016, driven by strong growth in services and manufacturing, with the biggest contribution to growth from the retail industry.

The continued stream of data suggesting the UK economy has weathered any adverse impacts of Brexit appears to have boosted consumer confidence, with the GfK Consumer Confidence index edging upwards this month and consumer borrowing surging towards the latter half of 2016. Shoppers went out and spent this Christmas, but given that prices remain in deflationary territory, the impact on retailers’ revenues was more modest....