Revised UK Retail Data Point to January Sales Surge

22 March 2004

Britons' new year spending spree was even bigger than previously thought, new figures show.

According to revised data from the Office for National Statistics, January retail sales (by volume) climbed by 1.2%, double the growth rate of earlier estimates.

In fact, spending was so high in January that consumers became more cautious in February, with retail sales staying flat. Nevertheless, last month's sales were up 6.5% from February 2003.

As a result, many analysts are warning of unsustainable growth in household spending. The figures are likely to increase pressure on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee for another rise in interest rates.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff