UK retail sales mixed in October

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British retail sales rebounded in October from September, official data showed Thursday, but fell on an annual basis for the first time in more than four years. Sales rose by 0.3 percent from the previous month, buoyed partly by second-hand goods stores, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That beat analysts’ consensus forecast for a gain of 0.2 percent and followed a drop of 0.7 percent in September from August. However on an annual basis, retail sales fell 0.3 percent in October compared with one year ago — when retailers had experienced a unusually strong performance.

That marked the first annual decline since March 2013.

“We are continuing to see an underlying picture of steady growth in retail sales, although this October suffered in comparison with a very strong October in 2016,” noted ONS statistician Kate Davies. “Growth month-on-month in October was particularly strong in the second-hand goods sector, which includes auction houses and antique dealers.”

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