According to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK retail sales growth contracted 0.8 per cent last month, down from an upwardly revised 0.4 per cent growth in August.
This fall in sales growth was notably larger than the 0.4 per cent that had been forecast by economists, and was mostly driven by a sharp fall in food sales.
However despite September’s figures, the ONS remained upbeat after a good summer period. Food sales saw their steepest drop in three years in September as consumers tightened their belts after the unusually hot summer, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.
Although consumers have only recently started to see their wages rise faster than prices, the ONS said the quantity of goods bought last month was 3% up on the same month a year earlier. All sectors but department stores, which underwent the collapse and partial rescue of House of Fraser in the past year, achieved growth.
Sales of food were down 1.5% in the month, contributing to an 0.8% fall in total UK retail sales.
The pound is modestly bouncing against the dollar and the Euro on Thursday morning trading.