Worst September since records began as industry body warns of spending slowdown amid ‘spectre of no-deal Brexit’
Retailers have endured their worst September since records began, according to an industry body that has blamed “the spectre of a no-deal Brexit” for lower spending.
Total sales fell by 1.3 per cent in September, compared with a rise of 0.7 per cent in the previous year.
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Falling below both the three-month average and the 12-month average, the data marks the worst September since records began in 1995.
Online non-food sales growth was the lowest on record, though still compared favourably to the decline in growth at physical stores.
Warmer weather compared with last year and weaker demand for non-essential items has driven the drop, according to the latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal by the end of October.
UK retail sales declined by 1.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis from September 2018, reflecting the lowest 12-month average since August 2009.
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“With the spectre of a no-deal weighing increasingly on consumer purchasing decisions, it is no surprise that sales growth has once again fallen into the red,” said BRC boss Helen Dickinson.
She added: “With four months of negative sales growth since March, the ongoing political gridlock surrounding Brexit is harming both consumers and retailers. Clarity is needed over our future trading relationship with our closest neighbours, and it is vitally important that Britain does not leave the EU without a deal.”