ICAEW chart of the week: Retail spending 2018

With the festive season upon us and despite tales of High Street gloom, our chart this week is about the £381bn that consumers in England, Wales and Scotland are expected to spend in 2018 on the high street and online. A weekly average of £7.3bn via the multiplicity of payment routes that are possible.

As our chart illustrates, the pattern of spending through the year is significantly skewed to the holiday season, with retail sales excluding fuel in the five weeks ending in December expected to reach almost £48bn. This is a massive £11.1bn higher than if consumer spending was spread evenly through the year.

It is important to understand that the chart is based on an extrapolation from last year’s pattern and is not a forecast. If consumers choose to tighten their belts this year then sales could come in substantially below this level. Such a scenario would add to the woes of a number of retailers, many of whom generate most of their profits in the weeks running up to the end of the year.

So if you are out looking for that last minute present for someone special, just remember that this is a great opportunity to make your retailer happy too!

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