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UK retail sales decline more than expected in December 2018

Retail sales in the U.K. fell more than expected in December 2018, with all sectors except food stores and fuel stores registering falls.

Sales declined by 0.9% month over month in December 2018, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. The Econoday consensus estimate was for a 0.8% monthly decrease.

Online retailing registered a year-over-year rise of 13.9%, accounting for 20% of total retailing in December 2018.

In the three months to December 2018, retail sales volume declined by 0.2% compared with the previous three-month period. The ONS noted falls in all main sectors except fuel.

On an annual basis, total sales volume grew by 3.0% in December 2018.

The decline in retail figures comes at a time when businesses and consumers remain cautious amid concerns surrounding Brexit, which led to a no-confidence vote that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's government survived Jan. 16.