UK consumers cut back on spending again, adding to economic gloom
- British consumers failed to increase their spending for a record fifth month in a row in December.
- Official data on Friday showed sales volumes fell by 0.6% from November, defying the median forecast for a rise of 0.5% in a Reuters poll of economists.
- Sales in monthly terms have not risen since July, the longest such run since records began in 1996, the Office for National Statistics said, adding that food sales fell by the most in three years.
- Sterling weakened and British government bond prices rose as investors increasingly bet on the Bank of England cutting rates on Jan. 30, at the end of its next meeting.