Sales at stores open at least 12 months, measured by value, dropped 0.1 percent from a year earlier, the London-based trade group said in an e-mailed report today. Sales rose 1.5 percent the previous month, the strongest in nine months.
“Unfortunately it looks like the modest sales revival we saw in September was something of a false dawn,” BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said. “The disappointing figures are a reminder of the difficult economic realities many are still facing. Falling consumer confidence means people are limiting spending to essential items and are cautious about committing to big-ticket and discretionary buying.”
Including stores open less than 12 months, retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month from a year earlier, the slowest pace since April, according to the BRC. In the three months through October, food sales increased 0.7 percent from a year earlier on a like-for-like basis, while non-food sales rose 0.2 percent.
Robertson said the fact that year-to-date average retail sales growth hasn’t outpaced inflation means overall volumes were “going backwards.”
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