UK Retail Job Losses Forecast for 2021

UK Retail Job Losses Forecast for 2021

The UK is forecast to see 200,000 job losses in 2021 as the effects of the coronavirus lockdowns compound an already troubled industry. In 2020 an average of 320 stores were shuttered every week. 

New figures from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) show a bleak retail landscape for 2021, with shopping in high streets and malls less pleasant with social-distancing rules. 

Cash flow problems, high rent payments, closed stores and a surge in online shopping will be damaging to companies who operate physical stores. 

Social distancing, the queues to enter stores, and the frequent requests to use hand sanitisers and ‘not to touch merchandise unless you are going to buy it’ robs the act of shopping of any pleasure, making it something hazardous.  

2020 was a bust year for retailers, with Bon Marché, Peacocks, Debenhams, Arcadia Group, Jaeger and Edinburgh Woollen Mill just some of the companies that collapsed into administration.  

Who will be next and what effect will this have on the GBP? 

UK Retail Sales 

The UK Retail Sales came in at 0.3% MoM in December

Core Retail Sales for the UK rose by 0.4 % MoM in December. 

The UK retail sales came in at 0.3% over the month in December vs. 1.2% expected and -3.8% previously. The core retail sales, stripping the auto motor fuel sales, stood at 0.4% MoM vs. 0.8% expected and -2.6% previously.           

On an annualized basis, the UK retail sales rose by 2.9% in December versus 4.0% expected and 2.4% prior, while the core retail sales increased by 6.4% in the reported month versus 7.0% expected and 5.6% previously. 

What does this mean for the GBP? 

GBP/USD is off 1.37 amid the souring mood and amid the disappointing UK Retail Sales, which advanced by only 0.3% in December. Britain’s COVID-19 cases are falling, and the vaccination campaign continues at full speed. UK preliminary PMIs for January are on the docket.  

Keep an eye on the bearish pressure around the pound as there may be an opportunity to trade! 

Other Financial News 

Bitcoin plunged below $30,000 and rebounded above that level as volatility grows. Cryptocurrencies have been receiving more attention from a broader community of investors in the past weeks, following BTC’s ascent. 

Australian Retail Sales figures for December disappointed with a drop of 4.2%, pushing AUD/USD lower. 

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