British retail sales post weak December growth
Britain’s retail sales data released on Friday showed weak growth in December as British retail outlets and shops resumed business operations coming off a four-week lockdown in November to help curb coronavirus spread. Meanwhile, public borrowing this financial year soared, hitting a new record high.
Retail sales volumes posted a 0.3% increase in December, missing Reuters economists’ predicted output of 1.2%. However, the official figures showed that December 2020’s record was 2.9% higher than the previous year.
Public sector borrowing for the same month hit 34.1 billion pounds ($46.65 billion), beating economists’ estimate f 32.1 billion pounds, taking borrowing since the start of the financial year in April to 270.8 billion pounds.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s camp warned it’s too early to ease lockdowns, even as the inoculation program continued to expand to reach 5 million people.