BRC: Fears over the economy lead to lower sales volume

UK retail sales slowed in September

The British Retail Consortium has released figures showing that retail sales growth slowed last month, due to increased fears over the economy and Government cuts.

Year-on-year sales were up by 0.5 per cent, compared to yearly sales growth of 2.8 per cent in September 2009. The only sectors to see any gains last months was footwear, thought to be spurred by the wet weather, and food, which saw a small rise.

“Sales growth continues to be poor. We’ve now had six straight months of low growth thanks to persistently weak consumer confidence and worries about the future,” said the BRC’s director general Stephen Robertson.

“Overall, non-food sales were down on a year ago for the first time since mid 2009. With VAT higher than it was last year, and pushing up sales values, it’s an even worse performance than it looks. There is little evidence yet of major purchases being brought forward from 2011 to beat the coming VAT increase. Despite widespread discounting, sales of major items had the toughest time. It’s clear people are cautious and major spending is largely on hold.”

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