UK retail sales drop in August

UK retail sales drop in August

New data revealed on Thursday that monthly retail sales dropped in August.

The quantity of goods purchased in August dropped by 0.2%, according to latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

The data shows that non-store retailing contributed the largest to this fall, “partially offsetting the strong growth reported last month for this sector,” said the Office for National Statistics.

“Non-store retailing was the largest negative contributor on the month, with the amount spent and quantity bought both contributing negative 0.3 percentage points,” the report said.

Year-on-year growth shows that the quantity purchased in August 2019 rose by 2.7% – though this is a slow down compared to the stronger growth witnessed earlier this year, peaking at 6.7% in March.

The data from the Office for National statistics also shows that department stores have now experienced 12 consecutive months of no growth in the sector.

As the extended Brexit deadline approaches, the only thing certain is additional uncertainty. Will the UK be able to secure a deal by the deadline and prevent a chaotic departure from the European Union?

Brexit uncertainty is a factor cited by many that has weighed on consumer confidence in recent months.

Moreover, several British retailers have struggled for survival amid the difficult trading conditions to hit the UK high street.

Earlier this month, retailer John Lewis posted a loss in its half year results as trading conditions for the British retailer “continued to be difficult”. It also warned that a no-deal departure from the European Union would have a “significant” impact on its business.

“Should the UK leave the EU without a deal, we expect the effect to be significant and it will not be possible to mitigate that impact,” John Lewis’ Sir Charlie Mayfield warned earlier this month in its half year results.

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