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December 2020 ONS Retail Sales analysis

The ONS Retail Sales Index (RSI) figures for December 2020 released today were lower than consensus forecast, with a seasonally-adjusted month-on-month increase of 0.4% excluding fuel (KPSA3), against economist consensus forecast of 0.8%.

The headline comparable to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor (RSM) was a non-seasonally adjusted year-on-year value decline of 0.3% in December for all businesses (excluding fuel), contrasting with a growth of 7.3% reported for November. The figures in both months were distorted by the fact that 2020 was a 53-week year, hence the divergence.

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