UK retail sales plunge more than expected in September

Published on: 23rd October 2017

Growth for Q3 slowed to year-on-year rate of 1.5%, its lowest since the second quarter of 2013. 

As reported by the Telegraph, UK retail sales fell more than expected in September, as inflation fuelled by a post-Brexit vote fall in the pound continued to chip away at household budgets.

According to official figures, total sales across the retail sector decreased by 0.8% in volume terms last months compared to August, undershooting the 0.1 per cent decline predicted by analysts.

Growth for the third quarter of the year slowed to a year-on-year rate of 1.5%, its lowest since the second quarter of 2013 and well below the 2.1% pencilled in by city forecasters.

The figures provide further evidence that rising inflation is eating into consumers’ disposable incomes.

Andrew Sentance, former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and now a senior economic adviser at PwC, commented: “We have not seen three consecutive months of monthly retail sales growth since last autumn. This surge in inflation is squeezing consumers and holding back the growth of retail spending in volume terms.”

Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said that “a toxic combination of rising prices and stagnant wages” was “severely constraining household spending”.

Figures earlier this week showed that inflation hit a five-year high of 3% in September, piling more pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates next month.


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