U.K. retail-sales growth eased more than economists forecast in December and may cool further in early 2013, according to a monthly report from the Confederation of British Industry.
The gauge of annual sales growth fell to 19 from 33 in November, the London-based business lobby said Wednesday. Economists had forecast a decline to 25, according to the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Retailers' expectations for sales growth in January fell to 10.
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U.K. inflation held at 2.7 percent in November, keeping consumers under pressure at a time when confidence is being undermined by the government's fiscal tightening. The Bank of England voted to leave its program for bond purchases unchanged this month as policy makers assess the effectiveness of their Funding for Lending Scheme to stoke growth.
The CBI's three-month moving average gauge of sales volumes rose to 27 in December from 23 in November, today's report said.
A measure of sales volume for the time of year fell to minus 18 from minus 15, while a gauge of the volume of orders placed with suppliers dropped to 13 from 16. An index of the volume of stocks in relation to expected demand dropped to 9 from 27.