‘We may be on the cusp of emerging from a final act of austerity’

Light at the end of a railway tunnel

There could well be light at the end of the tunnel for retailers, believes OC&C’s Matt Coode

It’s a challenging time to be a market forecaster in the retail sector. All the trusty data sources they would typically reach for would indicate rising trading temperatures while, despite last week’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) announcement of upbeat January fortunes, on the high street the mood remains decidedly cold.

Real wages are back in growth, outstripping CPI in the fourth quarter of 2023 by 1.8%. The household savings ratio now sits above the 50-year average and consumer confidence has risen 10% since this time last year.


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