Retail sales were down by 0.2% in September, according to the latest numbers from the Office of National Statistics.
Despite the ending of almost all lockdown restrictions, retail sales volumes have fallen every month since April. Clothing and department stores saw a slight increase but it was Household goods stores that reported a 10% fall in sales. Sales at chemists and toy stores also fell.
“An unexpected fall in retail sales, which came despite a boost from rising fuel prices, demonstrating that things are getting tougher out there,” said AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson.
Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented: “For the sake of the UK’s economic recovery, it is vital that retail sales bounce back as we near the festive season.”
“Labour shortages across the supply chains, on farms, factories, warehouses and lorry drivers, all threaten to derail this recovery and it is vital that government finds a long-term solution to this problem,” she added.