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Can we believe the latest UK retail figures?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday revealed December retail figures which showed an increase of 0. 3% against analysts expectations of a 1% increase. However, there is concern that these figures may well be flawed as we have seen various statistics rebased and adjusted after their initial release. So can we believe the latest UK retail figures?

The problem at the moment is that we do not have any other figures to base assumptions on and forecasts on. As a consequence we saw a sell-off in the UK stock market yesterday which brought to an end one of the more difficult weeks in recent history. Despite the fact that a number of prominent UK retailers have reported strong trading over the Christmas period it would seem that those below the waterline may well be suffering and indeed we could see a number of companies go out of business in the short term.

There is growing concern about the standard and believability of various UK economic data which has been shown to be unreliable in the past. Over the last couple of years we have seen some significant adjustments to initial figures further down the line which has caused confusion and anger in the investment community.

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