UK Retail Sales Recover In October

Despite the rising cost of living, UK retail sales rebounded in October from the previous month when sales were reduced by the additional bank holiday, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Retail sales volumes advanced 0.6 percent on a monthly basis in October, faster than the expected growth of 0.3 percent.

The monthly growth reversed the revised 1.5 percent decrease in September, which was affected by the bank holiday for the State Funeral.

Still overall sales were 0.6 percent lower than the pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

October’s 0.6 percent increase highlighted the fall in food stores sales volume was offset by positive growth in other main sectors.

Predominantly food stores slid 1.0 percent, while non-food stores gained 1.1 percent. Automotive fuel sales grew 3.3 percent, reversing a 1.2 percent drop.

Sales volume excluding auto fuel gained 0.3 percent, in contrast to the 1.5 percent decline in September. Economists had forecast a faster growth of 0.6 percent.

Year-on-year, the decline in retail sales slowed to 6.1 percent from 6.8 percent in September. Sales were forecast to ease 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, excluding auto fuel, retail sales declined 6.7 percent, faster than September’s 6.1 percent fall. Nonetheless, the pace was slower than economists’ forecast of 6.9 percent.

Elsewhere, survey results from market research group Gfk showed that consumer confidence improved in November for the second straight month. The consumer confidence index unexpectedly rose to -44 from -47 in October. The score was seen at -52.0.

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