Retailers had a “truly dreadful” December, says BRC

High street retailers experienced a “truly dreadful” December according to the British Retail Consortium. The trade body says that non-food outlets experienced a “torrid” month despite a “blizzard of promotions and deals.”

It says that both total and like-for-like UK retail high street and online sales, which fell 1.4% and 3.3% respectively, were the worst in the 14 years since the BRC started its survey.

The news comes as as the British Chambers of Commerce also reported the worst results of its quarterly survey of British businesses since it started in 1989. It says the figures, which cover both manufacturing and service companies, reveal a “frightening deterioration in the UK economic situation.”

It adds that the outlook is bleak on all fronts, with domestic demand “plunging”, export sales “falling” and “plummeting” confidence, and that it is “clear the UK is facing a very serious recession.”

The BCC director general David Frost is now calling for a cross-party “national recovery plan” to be “rolled out as soon as possible”, while the BRC has called on the government to think twice before “piling on new burdens” on business over the next two years.

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