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MNI BRIEF: UK Retail Sales Lower, Set To Weigh On Q3 GDP

MNI (London)
(MNI) London

UK retail sales decline for a 4th straight month and need sharp September recovery to help push GDP higher.

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UK retail sales were lower again in August on a monthly level and recorded no growth on an annual reading, data released Friday showed, confirming industry warnings reported in MNI's latest Reality Check. Month-on-month, sales fell 0.9% on both a total and ex-fuel basis, and now need to show a hefty 12.4% m/m gain in September for retail sales to be a positive contributor to Q3 GDP -- and apart from the May/June period in 2020 as we reopened from the initial lockdowns, that level of m/m growth has not been seen since the current time series began in 1996.

Year-on-year, total sales were unchanged on year, with sales ex-fuel lower by 0.9% -- and both were revised lower in July, although both indices remain above pre-pandemic levels.

It is the first run of 4 consecutive on month declines since at least 1996, the Office for National Statistics said Friday.