by Wolf Richter
But even red-hot online sales cooled off late in the year as consumers turned sour.
Consumers in the UK, generally a hardy bunch when it comes to borrowing and shopping, were not in a shopping mood before the holidays. Retail sales in December at non-food brick-and-mortar stores – ranging from specialty stores to department stores – fell 1.6% compared to December last year, seasonally adjusted, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS). The less volatile three-month moving average fell 1.1% year-over-year, the biggest decline since September 2009, when consumers were trying to clamber out of the Financial Crisis: