Retail sales in the U.K. declined in September for a second consecutive month, a sign that consumers are pulling back on spending as high inflation squeezes their purchasing power.
Retail sales volumes fell 1.4% on month in September, having fallen by a revised 1.7% in August, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. September’s decrease marks the 10th monthly fall in 11 months.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected retail sales to decrease 0.5%.
September’s fall in retail sales volumes was also partly driven by the extra bank holiday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, when many retailers closed, the ONS said. “As a one-off event, this impact does not get removed from our seasonally adjusted estimates,” it said.
High inflation and rapidly rising household borrowing costs are expected to weigh further on retail sales volumes in the months ahead, economists say.
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