FXStreet (Delhi) – Rob Carnell, Research Analyst at ING, notes that the UK retail sales in December fell more than expected, even allowing for an anticipated decline following the previous month’s decent 1.3%mom gain. Key Quotes “The 0.9% mom (ex fuel) decline in December was concentrated in non-food sales (-3.5%), with clothing and footwear down 6.2%mom - perhaps reflecting an unseasonably warm month. January data will show if this is the right interpretation, or something more sinister now that the mercury has begun to plunge in thermometers. Less explicably, household goods sales were also weak (-4.8%mom) and sales at other stores (-2.9%) don’t make much better reading. It doesn’t even look as if online Christmas shopping is sapping the strength of traditional store sales, with the separate online retail spending data (13.8% of total sales) down a seasonally adjusted 5.2% (value terms). All told – this is soft data, and unless January bounces back hard, it provides another excuse for the Bank of England to drag its feet, with no rate hike from them likely until November this year at the earliest.” For more information, read our latest forex news.