Surprise fall in UK retail sales hopefully a temporary blip

UK retail sales suffered a worse than expected fall of 0.7 per cent in October. Analysts had expected retail sales to remain in line with figures seen in September.

Capital Economics' UK economist, Mark Beck, comments:

Overall, with recent data showing a robust labour market and October’s faster than expected fall in inflation easing the squeeze on real earnings, the fall in sales volumes in that month is hopefully a temporary blip. But the consumer recovery remains a fragile one.

Clothing sales dropped 2.8 per cent month-on-month while sales of household goods also fell by 1.2 per cent. Warmer weather has been cited as a contributing factor to poor clothing sales, meaning the drop is likely to be temporary setback. Food sales fell for the third consecutive month.

Despite the fall, retail sales are still 1.8 per cent higher compared to October 2012.

(Capital Economics)