Oct 22, 2009
Retail sales fail to grow in September
Oct 22, 2009
LONDON (Reuters) - Retail sales failed to grow for a second month running in September, official data showed on Thursday 22 October, confounding expectations for a 0.5 percent rise.
The Office for National Statistics said sales volumes were flat on the month, leaving them 2.4 percent higher than a year ago. That was below analysts' forecasts for an annual increase of 2.8 percent.
The figures suggest consumers remain reluctant to spend at a time when unemployment is rising and may reinforce worries over the strength of any economic recovery.
Figures on Friday 23 October are expected to show the economy grew in the third quarter after more than a year of decline.
Thursday (22 October)'s data showed textile, clothing and footwear sales volumes fell 0.5 percent on the month while sales of non-specialised stores, which includes department stores, were up by 0.5 percent.
Sales of household goods rose 0.3 percent, taking the annual fall to 0.9 percent, its smallest decline since December 2008.
The retail sales deflator fell to -0.5 percent in September compared with a year ago, down from -0.4 percent in August. That was the fourth consecutive month it has been negative, indicating retailers are still having to cut prices to lure in shoppers.
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