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Shoppers rein in spending as October retail sales disappoint

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

In the month to October 2018, retail sales declined by 0.5% as shoppers cut back on spending following a bumper summer of sport and sunshine.

The figure was dragged down by a steep decline of 3% in household goods stores after a strong August and September.

But in the three months to October, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed an increase of 0.4% compared to the previous quarter. However, again, this reveals a slowdown in growth from the summer when retail sales peaked at 2.3%.

When compared to the previous year, the amount bought in October 2018 increased by 2.2%, with all sectors showing increases except for fuel which fell 1.8%.

The ONS said the average store price for fuel increased 11.4% in the year to October – the 26th consecutive month of rises.

Online sales continue to rise – notching up 18% from the 17.7% reported in September. Textiles, clothing and footwear stores were the most popular stores for online shoppers.