Retailers are set for a slow start to 2013 with year-on-year sales growth predicted to fall far behind the 10-year average for the month.

The Opera Solutions Retail Predictor (OSRP) for Retail Week forecasts low retail sales growth for the first three months of the year before an uplift in April.

In January, retail sales are predicted to be up 1.9%, down on the 10-year average of 3.3%, while in February sales are forecast to be 2.4% against a 3.1% average.

However, the monitor predicts an uplift in sales growth to 3.5% in April against a 10-year average of 2.8% sales growth.

Opera said it had revised its forecasts for 2013 following rising inflation. “The figures were driven down by inflation, which remains high at 2.7%, the highest level since May. The main source of upward pressure was a rise in food prices. At this inflation rate, household-level real incomes and buying power are decreasing,” it said.

The ONS said last month retail sales had grown 1.5% in November, below the OSRP’s 2.5% prediction.

Opera said: “The unexpectedly low sales figures for November seem to support last month’s forecasts, indicating a bleak December for retail sales growth. The OSRP released last month forecast December year-on-year sales growth at just 2%.”

The Opera Solutions Retail Predictor

Opera Retail Solutions Predictor

Opera Retail Solutions Predictor