Retail sales grow 0.4%
Retail sales in the UK have increased by 0.4 per cent between July and September, according to the October figures released by the Office of National
11:16 20 October 2005
Retail sales in the UK have increased by 0.4 per cent between July and September, according to the October figures released by the Office of National Statistics.
The statistics represent the second consecutive increase in retail sales, after growth of 0.9 per cent in August.
But the three-month growth of 0.4 per cent is the lowest since May, and the annual growth figure of one per cent is the lowest for nearly a decade.
There were large falls in sales values for household goods stores, which dropped by 6.2 per cent, and department stores, which dropped by 2.7 per cent.
Between August and September total sales volume grew by 0.7 per cent, marking a sharp increase from 0.2 per cent growth in August and a 0.5 per cent decrease in July.
This figure has contradicted analysts' predictions of a 0.3 per cent rise, which would make an interest rate cut next month more likely.
Thinktank the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) welcomed the improved figures but warned that the retail industry was still "flat".
"Today's news is better than expected by the markets which had factored in a month on month rise of just 0.2 per cent leaving sales volumes no better than in September 2004," CEBR managing economist Dominic Walley said.
"Nevertheless, retail sales reported by the office for National Statistics have been relatively flat now since the end of spring 2004, with the British Retail Consortium data showing a strong negative trend since April 2005."