UK retail sales continue on downward trend

UK retail sales volumes dropped by 1.4 per cent in September, around 1.3 per cent lower than pre-covid February 2020 levels.

As retailers report the effect of rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis on volumes, data for last month also shows that the bank holiday for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II - when many retailers closed - also impacted sales as many retailers closed, according to the latest ONS figures.

Food store sales declined by nearly two per cent last month, around three per cent below figures recorded before the pandemic.

The data also reveals that in the three months to September, sales volumes fell by two per cent when compared with the previous three months. The result reflect the downward trend seen since summer 2021.

Non-store retailing, made up mainly of online retailers, saw sales drop by three per cent during the same period. Despite the decline, sales were still 18 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Non-food store sales volumes saw a decline of 0.6 per cent and were 2.7 per cent lower than figures recorded in February 2020.

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