ONS: December retail sales down on November data

<p>Retail sales fell in December, according to the ONS.</p>

The FTSE 100 has held its ground in trading this morning (January 18th), after official retail sales figures disappointed the markets.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), activity on the UK high street over December fell by 0.1 per cent month on month.

Compared with a year earlier, the quantity of products purchased rose by 0.3 per cent, while online transactions advanced to 10.6 per cent from the 9.4 per cent recorded 12 months previously.

As such, this was the slowest annual rate of growth for a December since 1998, except for in 2010 when retail was hit with heavy snow.

This news may send shivers through the markets today, as investors and analysts brace for a triple-dip recession, as the likelihood of further economic contraction grows.

At 10:15 GMT, the FTSE 100 was stable, advancing by 0.2 per cent to an index value of 6147.2 points.

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