RETAIL sales took a knock in October, official figures showed yesterday, as the mild Autumn hit sales of winter clothes.
Sales have been growing steadily as the economy recovers, and analysts believe the 0.7 per cent fall compared with September’s sales will not start a new downward trend.
Compared with October 2012, sales were up 2.5 per cent. And the three-months to October show flat sales compared with the previous three-month period, after a solid seven-month period of growth.
Food sales dropped 0.3 per cent and petrol sales dipped 2.4 per cent in the month. But non-food shop sales increased 2.7 per cent and online sales continued to soar, rising 16.3 per cent.
“We expect households to continue saving less over the next few quarters keeping the economy growing, and the weakness in real pay should change next year with inflation falling,” said Robert Wood from Berenberg Bank. “But for the next few quarters weak pay will probably keep retail spending contained and mean this is a solid rather than spectacular recovery.”
He anticipates a bounce back in clothes sales in the coming months.