UK retail sales end 2015 on high despite growth hit

Discounting, shoppers trading down to cheaper brands and price deflation all hit growth. Picture: Hemedia
Discounting, shoppers trading down to cheaper brands and price deflation all hit growth. Picture: Hemedia
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UK retail sales ended 2015 on a “healthy note”, despite growth being hit by discounting, shoppers trading down to cheaper brands and price deflation, a survey today suggests.

Credit card provider MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report reveals that sales grew by 2.1 per cent, year-on-year, in the crucial nine weeks to Christmas, compared with 2.2 per cent for the full year.

When price-adjusted, the growth figure was 4.4 per cent across November and December, according to the survey, which looks at UK retail sales across all card and cash payments. MasterCard said post-Christmas sales saw year-on-year growth of 3.1 per cent.

For the first time ever, Black Friday was the single biggest shopping day of the year, confirming its prominence in the UK shopping calendar.

Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland, said: “All things considered, 2015’s growth figures were very robust.”

Festive clothing sales were hit by the mild temperatures.