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UK retail sales at lowest since 2008

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Creative News, Outdoor News

British retail spending dropped last month at the fastest rate for any October since 2008 as shoppers cut back on non-food goods in face of rising inflation.

open signFigures from the British Retail Consortium show that retail sales fell 1% on a like-for-like basis from October 2016, when they had increased 1.7% from the preceding year.

That fall was driven largely by a decline in non-food sales. Over the three months to October 2017, in-store sales of non-food items declined 2.9% on a like-for-like basis.

On a 12-month basis, the total decline was 2.1%, the deepest since records began in January 2012.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said "It was a meagre month in October for retail sales as shopping activity slumped. With total growth at its lowest since May and below the 12-month average, retailers will have cause for concern as they prepare for the crucial run up to Christmas.

"The decline was driven by the worst performance of non-food sales since our record began in January 2011, as consumers appear to have opted for outdoor experiences and excursions during half term, over visits to the shops. The growth in food sales meanwhile, adds some colour to this otherwise anaemic picture, but these figures are very much buoyed by inflation.

"Real consumer spending power has been on a downward trend in the last year as the acceleration in inflation has caused shoppers to become ever more cautious in considering what purchases they can afford. Many now face higher borrowing costs, given the rise in interest rates, which will only serve to heap further pressure onto household finances.

"Considering the intrinsic link between consumer spending and economic growth, the Chancellor should reflect on this disappointing state of play and deliver a Budget that allays the risks of a further slowdown in consumer spending, by keeping down the cost of living. In other words, a shoppers Budget."

 

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