Source: Office for National Statistics
Britain’s retail sales fell unexpectedly in February despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions as the cost of the living crisis started to hurt households. FTSE 100 up +0.36%, GBPUSD up +0.02%
- Online shopping fell back towards pre-pandemic levels as winter storms kept people away from the high street, and spending at food and drink retailers fell as customers returned to restaurants.
- Sales volumes edged down by 0.3% month-on-month, below the 0.6% increase estimated by economists.
- Sales volumes at food stores dropped by 0.2% in February 2022, with bigger falls in alcohol and tobacco stores.
- Sales excluding volatile fuel items dropped by 0.7% in the month, and more declines in spending might occur as consumers struggle with a cost-of-living crisis.
- Non-food stores sales volumes increased by 0.6%, with growth in clothing, 13.2%, and department stores, 1.3%.
- February’s fall comes after a 1.9% increase in retail sales volumes in January.