According to the VISA consumer spending index, there was a decline in consumer spending in 8 months of 2018, including a decline of 1% in December. This is in line with ONS figures which have been showing total retail sales flattening out since summer 2018.
We recognise this decline in consumer spending, along with a number of other market pressures such as changing consumer expectations and behaviour towards online shopping, are creating a challenging environment for UK retailers as they respond to these changes.
This is why in March we established the industry led Retail Sector Council to bring Government and industry together to boost the sector’s productivity and economic health.
The Government is committed to supporting the retail sector and through the Council will work with industry to address key sector issues and define its future strategy.