ACCORDING to figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), retail sales by physical stores in the UK rose by only 1.1 per cent in February 2016, against a rise of 1.7 per cent recorded a year earlier. In the preceding month, sales had grown by 3.3 per cent. Clothing, footwear and food all suffered lower year-on-year growth in February, when demand tended to centre on furniture and home accessories. But online sales of non-food products remained strong, with growth of 10.7 per cent year-on-year.
In the coming months, consumer behaviour is likely to reflect the uncertainties created by the Brexit referendum scheduled for June 2016.