UK retail sales fizzle out after spending falls

Kasmira Jefford
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SIGNS of improved spending on the high street have proved to be something of a damp squib after retail sales in October slowed to their lowest growth in 11 months.

Following strong sales the previous month, like-for-like retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in October compared with the same time last year, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG sales monitor showed this morning.

Total sales rose 1.1 per cent – the lowest growth since November last year. With a three-month average of 3.4 per cent, food proved more resilient. But when stripping out inflation, growth was stagnant.

“It looks like the modest sales revival we saw in September was something of a false dawn,” Stephen Robertson, BRC director general said. “This underwhelming showing means there’s all to play for as Christmas approaches.”

Visa’s monthly figures also showed household spending fell 2.9 per cent in October after two consecutive months of growth.