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Friday’s retail sales data expected to confirm worst December for a decade

From the slew of retailer updates so far, December looks to have been mixed, although a lot have complained about increased promotional activity during the month
In-store sales in particular are expected to have suffered

Expectations are not high for the latest UK retail sales figures which are due to be published on Friday.

Retailers are facing their worst December performance since the 2008 financial crisis, with analysts pencilling in a 0.8% drop compared to the same month a year earlier.

A combination of Brexit uncertainty, weakening consumer confidence and stagnant real-terms wage growth are all starting to hit retailers.

Plus, there’s the growing Black Friday phenomenon, with savvy shoppers getting their Christmas shopping done towards the end of November when there are loads of sales and promotions around.

Elsewhere on what looks set to be a quiet Friday in the City, mining Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) reports fourth-quarter production results, while food firm Bakkavor Group PLC (LON:BAKK) will publish a pre-close trading update.

Significant events expected on Friday January 18:

Trading updates: Bakkavor Group PLC (LON:BAKK), Henry Boot PLC (LON:BOOT), Rio Tinto PLC

AGMs: Ironveld Plc (LON:IRON), Kazera Global PLC (LON:KZG), Management Resource Solutions Plc (LON:MRS)

Economic data: UK retail sales; US industrial, manufacturing production; University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index

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