UK Retail Sales Fall More Than Expected


UK retail sales declined more than expected in August on widespread decreases across food, non-food and fuel retailing, official data showed Friday.

The retail sales volume declined 1.6 percent month-on-month, in contrast to July’s 0.4 percent increase, the Office for National Statistics reported. Economists had forecast a moderate 0.5 percent decline.

Likewise, retail sales excluding auto fuel were also down 1.6 percent after rising 0.4 percent in July. Sales were expected to ease 0.7 percent.

Non-food stores sales volumes fell 1.9 percent and food store sales decreased 0.8 percent. Automotive fuel sales volumes slid 1.7 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales decreased for the fifth straight month in August. Sales decreased 5.4 percent, following July’s 3.2 percent fall. Economists had forecast an annual drop of 4.2 percent.

At the same time, sales excluding auto fuel slid 5.0 percent versus a 3.1 percent decrease in the previous month. This was also faster than economists’ forecast of -3.4 percent.

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