Buyers in the reduction of on spending on garments and different non-essential gadgets final month as price of dwelling pressures and excessive power costs started to chew on households.
Retail gross sales volumes fell by 0.9 per cent final month, exceeding economist expectations of a fall of 0.3 per cent, and wiping out the 0.4 per cent rise recorded in August.
The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics stated the decline was the results of “persevering with price of dwelling pressures, alongside the unseasonably heat climate lowering gross sales of autumn-wear clothes”.
Retail spending has held up nicely in current months as the nice and cozy climate has inspired larger spending and introduced prospects on to the excessive avenue however a key measure of family confidence unexpectedly fell this month, in line with a survey by GfK, which reported an eight-point drop in sentiment in October to its weakest degree since July.
Households have additionally stated they’ll in the reduction of on spending on meals and presents this Christmas as they battle with rising prices resembling increased taxes, power costs and mortgage prices.
Month-to-month spending in non-food retailers declined by 1.7 per cent final month and on-line purchasing by 2.2 per cent. Meals gross sales was the one massive spending class the place spending volumes elevated, by 0.2 per cent.
The September figures imply that total retail gross sales contracted by 0.8 per cent within the third quarter of the 12 months, in contrast with the identical interval final 12 months. The info sends a worrying sign in regards to the well being of the financial system, the place development has been stored in only constructive territory over the previous three months. Newest figures for August confirmed that the financial system expanded marginally by 0.2 per cent after a 0.4 per cent contraction in July.
Alex Kerr, at Capital Economics, stated the figures recommended that the retail sector could have slipped again into recession after a quick restoration earlier this 12 months. “The broad-based nature of those falls means that the lingering price of dwelling points and the intensifying drag on exercise from increased rates of interest are at play,” Kerr stated. “This doesn’t bode nicely for retail gross sales development within the run-up to Christmas.”
Aled Patchett, head of retail and client items at Lloyds Financial institution, stated retailers would hope that persevering with declines in inflation and gross sales through the festive interval will entice shoppers again to the retailers by the top of the 12 months.