UK Retail Sales Fall More than Expected in October, Food Stores Weigh

British retail sales fell more than expected last month after surging in September, hurt by the biggest drop in food store sales since May 2014, official data showed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said retail sales volumes fell 0.6 percent in the month of October after a 1.7 percent upturn in September, which was boosted by the Rugby World Cup.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.5 percent drop on the month.

The ONS said food stores, department stores and clothing were the biggest drags on retail sales growth in October.

While the decline was a little steeper than expected, British consumers remain upbeat, boosted by a pick-up in wages, falling prices for goods in stores and record-low interest rates that markets do not expect to rise until late next year, or even 2017.

Retail sales volumes rose 3.8 percent compared with a year ago, compared with a 6.2 percent annual rise in September, undershooting a Reuters poll forecast for 4.2 percent.

The ONS said the value of retail spending was up 0.5 percent on the year, compared with a 0.2 percent fall in spending recorded by the British Retail Consortium in October.


Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.