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Ons - Unexpected 0.5% Fall In Retail Sales In August

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Retail sales in the UK were down by 0.5% in August compared with July, the first fall since January, according to the Office For National Statistics.

Sales of food, fuel, clothes and household goods were all down.


Another item where falls are always unexpected!


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Another 'unexpected' :rolleyes:


Fresh evidence of a slowdown in the economy emerged today when official data for high street spending last month showed the first drop since January.

Adding to fears that the summer marked a peak in activity, the Office for National Statistics said retail sales volumes dropped by 0.5% between July and August.

The ONS said the decline in spending had been across the board, with falls in sales of food, clothing and footwear.

August's fall in retail sales followed a sharp increase in July, although the ONS today said this was 0.8% rather than the original estimate of 1.2%. Sales in August were just 0.4% higher than a year earlier, while the difficult trading conditions forced retailers to trim their prices.

Today's figures, which were far weaker than the 0.3% increase forecast by the consensus of City economists, will add to speculation that consumer anxiety about looming public sector cuts is having an impact on spending behaviour.

The retail sales data comes after Wednesday's news of a small rise in claimant-count unemployment and recent survey evidence suggesting a weakening of orders for manufacturers, construction firms and the service sector.

Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said the unexpected fall was "a nasty shock" and "deals a significant blow to growth hopes".

He added: "Indeed, it will likely fuel fears of a double dip, given the importance of consumer spending to the economy and the fact that the fall in sales were broad-based in August. Furthermore, August's drop in retail sales occurred despite evidence that there was competitive pricing on the high street."

Edited by gruffydd
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Don't these fiqures swing about alot, next month you will get above expectation. When we get constant below expectation then yes time to take note.

Month before last has also been revised down markedly. I'm seeing a crisis in the retail sector - you know, sales down 40% over the Summer is not uncommon, etc.

Howard Archer calls these figures a nasty shock - I suggest he should get out more. Talk to retailers. See what's happening in the real world.

Edited by gruffydd
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But, but its all going north up north:

Pick-up in Scottish retail sales

The warm weather helped boost some food sales Sales in Scotland's shops picked up last month, according to figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Total sales rose by 2.4% and like-for-like sales grew by 0.1% in August - the first increase for five months.

The warm weather helped to encourage some spending and food sales saw their best year-on-year growth in six months.

...and in other news:

Big rise in Scottish unemployment

But dont be alarmed you wont be unemployed for long because:

Scots life spans among shortest in EU

All explained by the recently redundant consoling themselves with a catering sized pack of deep fried mars bars, no doubt

Edited by Captain Cavey
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If they can't get the figures correct why are the ONS there, what are they being paid for? If they are waiting for all the relevant data to be collected then why announce a figure based on incomplete data?

It's a balancing act - by the time they get ALL the data no-one is interested in August 2010 any more. You need to balance speed and accuracy.

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Call me visually impaired, but I fail to see this 'drop' in UK retail sales.

As regular Sloggers know only too well, I'm the last bloke to encourage the painting rosy hues onto Britain's immediate future. But as I tried to show with yesterday's piece about employment, the Coalition is making some progress - with remarkably little downside as yet.

Much the same applies to today's ONS numbers about August retail sales.

'UK retail in surprise fall' said the voice of the Wall St Journal. 'Surprise fall in UK retail' says the Torygraph. 'Retail sales drop adds to evidence of slowdown' wrote the Guardian - mind you, we all know Pravda's agenda.

I'm not sure I can see what they're on about.

Seasonally adjusted, versus the same month in 2009, value was up 2%, volume 0.4%. Nothing to shout about - but no sign of drop or fall here. This is a far more meaningful comparison than with the previous month at this time of year. Back to School, for instance, ups clothes purchases - evidenced by the rise of clothing by 6.4%.

Nobody mentioned the collapse in petrol sales - by 14% - a sure sign that sales forces are shrinking and private motorists are cutting back - again, this reinforces the savings ratio increases we've been seeing. Just as important, nobody mentioned the overall annual retail inflation rate - a comparatively paltry 1.5%. This last figure continues to convince me that deflation is the bigger threat in the long term....but of course, if you don't read that far, you're not going to reach that conclusion.

It's getting to the stage with the media and statistics where they should be issued with a Flying licence before they're allowed to write about economic 'results'. And anyway, slowdown or not, none of the sales figures are important, because virtually none of them will earn money for Britain. This is the one thing that the Left seems unable to grasp - but it'd be nice of the hacks could.

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Retail sales fell unexpectedly in August for the first time in seven months, in a sign the recovery may be stalling even as some of the country's biggest stores announced jumps in profits.

The Office for National Statistics said on Thursday that sales volumes fell 0.5 percent last month, defying expectations of a 0.3 percent rise and raising concern that waning consumer confidence is beginning to dent retail demand even before next year's planned VAT and income tax hikes.

Still, retail bellwether John Lewis posted a 28 percent jump in its results for the six months to July 31. Kingfisher, Europe's largest DIY retailer, which owns 330 stores in the UK, saw its profits jump 21.9 percent.

But both economists and retailers warned that the recovery from the worst recession since World War 2 may already have peaked. Data on Wednesday showed the first rise in the number of people out of work and claiming benefits since January.

"August's fall in retail sales could be the first sign that the surprising resilience of consumer spending could be coming to an end," said Vicky Redwood at Capital Economics. "The pressures on consumers are clearly mounting."

Bank of England policymakers remain on alert over whether they may yet to have put more stimulus into the economy despite inflation that is well above its 2 percent target.

Why won't people cooperate and help the recovery, it's as if people don't want to work or have a successful recovery.

We all need to be spending money, especially money we don't actually have to help secure the recovery and make all of these policy makers happy. Just think how bad they are feeling because the people won't cooperate and give them a successful recovery so they can praise themselves about how clever they are.

Support the recovery NOW!

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Retail sales volumes shrank 0.5pc last month on the back of fewer purchases of food, fuel, clothes and household goods, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists had expected a monthly increase for August of 0.2pc.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “The unexpected fall is a nasty shock and deals a significant blow to growth hopes. It will likely fuel fears of a double dip, given the importance of consumer spending to the economy.”

For the year, retail sales volumes rose just 0.4pc – only a fifth of the 2pc that analysts had forecast.

Sterling slipped sharply against both the euro and the dollar after the Office for National Statistics report, which also saw July’s figures revised down from growth of 1.2pc to 0.8pc. The pound dropped 0.4pc against the dollar to $1.5596.

The surprise drop follows three months of strong sales rises and warnings from a number of High Street retailers, such as Next, John Lewis and B&Q owner Kingfisher, that British consumers are becoming wary as fears over job security grow and persistently high inflation squeezes spending power.

Damn and now our GDP figures are under threat. Clearly we need a telethon appear to save the recovery.

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