HomeEconomic IndicatorUK retail sales decrease in September due to warm weather dampening clothing...

UK retail sales decrease in September due to warm weather dampening clothing demand, says Reuters.

Retail Sales in the UK Decline Due to Warm Weather Impact on Clothing Demand


British retail sales experienced a larger-than-expected decline in September, as shoppers postponed their purchases of autumn clothing due to unseasonably warm weather. This setback occurred amidst broader cost of living pressures, according to official figures released on Friday.

Weather Impacts Clothing Sales

Retail sales fell by 0.9% on the month, following a 0.4% rise in August, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This drop exceeded the predicted 0.2% decline by economists in a Reuters poll. The warm autumn conditions negatively affected clothing stores, resulting in a 1.6% decrease in clothing sales volumes. Conversely, food sales experienced a modest increase due to the unusual warmth.

- Advertisement -

Household Goods and Cost of Living Pressures

Furthermore, household goods stores witnessed a 2.3% decline in sales, which the ONS attributed to ongoing cost of living pressures. This trend indicates the challenges faced by British households over the past two years, including supply-chain difficulties and labor shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, energy costs surged after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, further exacerbating the cost-of-living squeeze.

Comparative Analysis and Sterling Weakens

Compared to the same period last year, sales volumes were down by 1.0%. Moreover, retail sales in the third quarter, which had a weak start due to unusually wet weather in July, were 0.8% lower than the previous quarter. The release of these figures caused the British pound to weaken against the U.S. dollar.

Retail Sales Volumes Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Although retail sales volumes surged in mid-2021 when shops fully reopened after COVID-19 restrictions, purchases have steadily declined since then. For over a year now, sales volumes have remained below pre-pandemic levels.

- Advertisement -

Comparison to 2019 Levels

Regarding cash terms, retail spending in September was 17% higher than in 2019. However, the volume of goods bought was more than 3% lower compared to the same period in 2019.

Impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

According to the ONS, retail sales are expected to subtract 0.04 percentage points from the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter.

This rewritten article presents a comprehensive overview of the UK’s retail sales decline in September. It highlights the impact of warm weather on clothing demand, the challenges faced by households, and the ongoing effects of the pandemic. The article also provides a comparative analysis of sales volumes and emphasizes the implications for the country’s GDP.

Must Read