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Oct. 22, 2021, 2:19 a.m. EDT

UK Retail Sales Fell in September for Fifth Consecutive Month

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By Xavier Fontdegloria

Retail sales in the U.K. fell in September for the fifth straight month, the longest period of consecutive monthly falls since the beginning of the series in 1996.

Retail sales volumes declined 0.2% on the month, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected retail sales to rise 0.4%.

In August, sales fell by an upwardly revised 0.6%.

Non-food stores drove the monthly decrease, with sales in household goods stores falling sharply, the ONS said.

Food store sales volumes rose by 0.6% following a fall of 1.4% in the previous month, and fuel sales volumes increased 2.9% amid the petrol crisis that prompted more drivers to fill the tanks.

Retail sales in September were 1.3% lower than a year earlier, but 4.2% above February's 2020 pre-pandemic levels.

Stripping out the contribution from fuel, retail sales decreased 0.6% in September compared with the previous month and fell 2.6% on an annual basis.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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