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ONS Retail Sales October 2019

Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel) rose by 3.0% year-on-year in October 2019 according to the latest figures from the ONS. This is a slowdown on the 3.5% rise in the previous month and lower than the 3.2% uplift in October 2018. That said, it continues to outperform the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor which reported a 0.6% rise in total sales in October.

In volume terms, retail sales rose by 2.7% on last year (seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel). On a month-on-month basis, volumes fell by 0.3%.

A more accurate reflection of underlying trends, shown by the three-month on three-month growth, reported a 0.2% increase in sales volumes in the three months to October – an 18-month low.

The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) increased by 0.1% (including fuel) on the year to October (up by 0.4%, excluding fuel), slowing on the previous month. This was the lowest rise in three years, evidence that discounting was prevalent in October. For food stores, inflation rose by 1.4% year-on-year, unchanged from the previous month, while Non-Food stores continued to experience deflation, falling 0.2% year-on-year, for the second consecutive month.

Online sales (non-seasonally adjusted, excluding automotive fuel) increased by 8.5% year-on-year, down on the 13.0% rise in October 2018 and only a marginal uplift on the downwardly revised 8.4% rise in September. Online sales accounted for approximately 19.0% of all retail spending, the largest proportion since January, excluding Easter distortions.

Retail sales (volume, seasonally adjusted) – 3-months on previous 3-months

Source: ONS

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