The data may look pretty very bad on the surface, it is negatively impacted by the fact that November was an unusually strong month, thanks to the growth of the previously USA-only shopping day known as Black Friday.
But Ian Gilmartin, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: "Although it might look like a negative result for the retail sector at first glance, December's retail data needs to be considered more carefully".
United Kingdom retail sales dive 1.5% in December as consumers slow spending following Black Friday bonanza. "Accordingly, we still think that GDP growth likely slowed to 0.3% in Q4, from 0.4% in Q3".
Monthly figures show a reasonably good picture of the United Kingdom retail sector is in a given moment, but longer term figures are needed to analyse industry trends.
The inflation rate dipped to 3 percent in December, down from November's rate of 3.1 percent, according to official data. Wage growth seems to be on an upward trend, while inflation may well have peaked.