UK retail sales fall more than expected in August

Retail sales fell in August as British consumers grapple with soaring prices and high energy costs, raising the risk of a recession.

The number of goods bought in the UK fell 1.6% between July and August, reversing a small expansion last month, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday.

That was a larger drop than economists polled for a 0.5% drop.

The ONS said “rising prices and cost of living” affected sales volumes.

The figures show how high inflation is affecting consumers and the broader economy. The government’s £150 billion energy support package announced earlier this month is expected to limit the impact from the recent gas price hike, but it has not dispelled a possible recession. .

UK line chart, February 2020 = 100 shows Retail Sales fell more than expected in August

All major sectors fell for the month.

Sales at non-food stores fell 1.9%, with department stores down 2.7%, homeware stores down 1.1% and clothing down 0.6%.

Online and fuel sales fell 2.6% and 1.7%, respectively. Grocery store sales fell 0.8%.

In the three months to August, retail volume was 1.1% lower than in the previous three months.

“With a tough winter coming, it’s going to leave retailers worried that shoppers have tempered their spending despite the hot summer,” said Lynda Petherick, retail director at Accenture.

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