November retail sales have disappointed commentators with a slight fall after a flat October.
The fall was only 0.1% but the trend is a cause for concern, particularly considering the interest rate cut in October. Household goods fell 0.9% while clothing, footwear and accessories fell 0.6%. More specifically, there was a large 1.8 per cent fall in hardware, building and garden supplies, a 1.6 per cent slide in furniture and floor coverings, a 2 per cent slump in footwear and personal accessories, and a 0.4 per cent fall for cafes and restaurants.
One interesting statistic showed that larger stores ( + 5% year on year) did better than small stores ( -0.8% year on year).
Small percentage variations like those recorded above can be reversed in the following months figures so we will watch December sales results with interest.