Dismal summer for retail as sales fall for fourth month in a row

Business

Retail sales fell unexpectedly last month partly thanks to shoppers spending more money eating out than in supermarkets, official figures show.

The 0.9% decline in sales volumes in August followed a downwardly-revised slump of 2.8% in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – and was the fourth month in a row of decline.

It painted a gloomier picture than forecast by economists, who had expected the sector to stage a partial recovery last month.

The ONS said food store sales fell by 1.2% last month “with some evidence to suggest that the further easing of hospitality restrictions had an impact on sales” as consumers “increased their social spending such as eating and drinking at restaurants and bars”.

Non-food sales dipped by 1%, driven by department stores as well as sports equipment and computer outlets.

Despite the declines, overall retail sales were slightly ahead of the same month a year ago and 4.6% up on pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

Articles You May Like

‘Your dad would be proud’: Vin Diesel walks Paul Walker’s daughter down the aisle
Former British spy ‘surprised and disappointed’ at Theresa May snub over Russia dossier
The Build Back Better Act is a Bridge to the Future We Need. Senator Manchin, Don’t Blow It Up!
‘No commercial case for green hydrogen’ yet: Siemens Energy CEO
How UK plans to reach net zero by 2050 – here are the key details