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UK retail sales slump after ‘bumper summer’

Retail sales figures hurt as consumers spend less on food as World Cup summer comes to an end.

Consumers spend less
Source: Bloomberg

In September, UK retail sales fell off following a summer heatwave and football World Cup that spurred a splurge in consumer spending, according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday.

In the three months to September, the amount of money spent on retail goods increased by 1.2% compared with the previous three months, with particularly strong sales growth in watches and jewellery stores.

Food sales slump

However, the strong growth seen over the summer period fell off with the quantity of goods declining by 0.8% compared to August, with the decline due to a significant fall in food shopping.

In fact, food stores sales saw a 1.5% fall in sales over in September – the largest decline since October 2015.

‘Retail continued to grow in the three months to September with jewellery shops and online stores seeing particularly strong sales,’ ONS Head of Retail Sales Rhian Murphy said.

‘This was despite a stark slowdown in food sales in September, following a bumper summer.’

The decline that UK retail sales experienced comes after the country witnessed one of the hottest summers in recorded history and its national football team reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup, prompting a consumer spending splurge.

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