// UK retail sales in August fall 0.9%, as spend more on eating out
// Economists had forecast on average that sales volumes would rise 0.5% on the month in August
Retail sales across Britain fell 0.9 per cent last month in another sign that retailers had a tough summer.
Previously experts forecast that sales volumes would rise 0.5 per cent on the month in August and show annual growth of 2.7 per cent and follows the news that retailers suffered a 2.8 per cent fall in July.
New figures just released by the Office for National suggest retailers struggled in the summer months revealing that spending in food stores fell as more people dined out following the easing of lockdown rules.
There was also a fall in department store sales, which have now dropped ever month since April.
ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said :“Sales fell again in August, though not nearly as much as in July and, overall, remained above their pre-pandemic level.”
Athow said data suggests that “is linked to an increase in eating out following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions”.
The ONS said the performance in August was still 4.6 per cent higher than pre- pandemic February 2020 levels and shared research that highlighted supply chain issues some retailers are grappling with.
Across businesses in the retail industry, 6.5 per cent reported they were not able to get the materials, goods or services needed from within the UK in the last two weeks.
That compares with 7.1 per cent across all sectors with department stores reporting the largest percentage at 18.2 per cent, followed by clothing stores at 11.1 per cent.