- British retail spending dropped 1% in October on a like-for-like basis.
- Spending registers its fastest drop-off rate for nine years.
LONDON — British retail spending dropped last month at the fastest rate for any October since 2008 as shoppers cut back on non-food goods in face of rising inflation.
Figures from the British Retail Consortium show that retail sales fell 1% on a like-for-like basis from October 2016, when they had increased 1.7% from the preceding year.
That fall was driven largely by a decline in non-food sales. Over the three months to October 2017, in-store sales of non-food items declined 2.9% on a like-for-like basis.
On a 12-month basis, the total decline was 2.1%, the deepest since records began in January 2012.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the figures were a cause for concern as Christmas approaches.
“With total growth at its lowest since May and below the 12-month average, retailers will have cause for concern as they prepare for the crucial run up to Christmas,” she said.
“The growth in food sales meanwhile, adds some colour to this otherwise anaemic picture, but these figures are very much buoyed by inflation.”