Talk about a mixed bag of economic news for the first 24 days of 2023! Here we are, the press peddling the recession message quite hard, and then you get the results in this BBC story of the high street brands that have performed really well over the critical Christmas period. I count ten winners and three losers in this one news story.
Every day there seems to be a different take, with train strikes in particular costing the hospitality industry a significant amount of lost profits. December borrowing stats came out today, showing with the highest amount borrowed since records began.
We will know in the next few weeks whether the UK is technically in recession, however with results like this, perhaps it will be short-lived.
As the UK headed into Christmas, there was speculation that it was going to be a very tough festive season. Not least for all the shops that rely on the period for a big chunk of their sales. Soaring food prices and energy bills, pay not going up at the same rate, the outlook was - and still is - bleak. But news from the country's biggest retailers such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer indicates there are more Christmas winners than losers this time around. And some retailers, such as the low-cost high street fashion chain Primark, benefited as people traded down from more expensive brands. They also had a boost as people went back to shopping in person in the hope of bagging a bargain, and because this year there were no Covid restrictions to stop them.