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UK Retail Sales Fall Unexpectedly In December

UK retail sales declined unexpectedly in December, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Retail sales volume, including auto fuel, dropped 0.6 percent on month, following a 0.8 percent decrease in November. This was the fifth consecutive month of no growth.

Economists had forecast a monthly growth of 0.6 percent.

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales fell 0.8 percent, the same pace of decline as logged in November and in contrast to the expected growth of 0.8 percent.

Food store sales fell 0.7 percent and non-food store sales slid 1.1 percent in December. Meanwhile, automotive fuel sales advanced 2.5 percent.

Annual growth in retail sales volume, including auto fuel, improved to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent a month ago. Excluding auto fuel, retail sales volume increased 0.7 percent after rising 0.6 percent in November.

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