U.K. retail sales surged 2.6% in December, smoking expectations for a 0.3% gain.
“Consumer confidence has improved in recent months, fuelled by improved job security as the labour market picks up, the better economic news flow in the media and lower inflation,” said Markit Economics’ Chris Williamson. “At the same time, more people are in employment, which naturally boosts consumer spending as more people are earning. However, wages are also starting to rise, according to survey data.”
Williamson noted that the annual growth was the largest in nine years.