Wealth Design News

The FTSE 100 ended a wild week with a near 1% gain, closing 133 points higher at 6968. U.K. retailers experienced their customary post-Black Friday slump in December, Office for National Statistics figures showed Friday. The volume of goods sold in stores and online fell a larger-than-forecast 0.9 percent from November, when they surged 1.3 percent. Sales excluding auto fuel dropped 1.3 percent, the most since May 2017.
Key take-outs:
• Sales of household goods fell 2.3% and “other stores” such as opticians and flooring firms saw sales drop 6.3%, more than offsetting gains at department stores and clothing retailers.
• Non-food sales overall fell 2.3% and food sales rose 0.2%. Fuel retailers were boosted by a sharp fall in oil prices during the month, with sales rising 2.6%.
• Statisticians have struggled to adjust for the Black Friday effect, with Christmas purchases increasingly being brought forward to November to take advantage of heavy discounts.
• High Street trading remains tough as the Brexit crisis saps consumer confidence. Retail stocks slumped in the fourth quarter and 2019 began with warnings from firms including Halfords and John Lewis.