Britons Keep Spending, But Growth Slowing

28 October 2002

When it comes to shopping, Britons seem to carry on regardless, judging by new figures from the Office for National Statistics, but there are signs that spending growth is slowing.

Retail sales jumped 4.6% in September compared with the same month a year earlier, with a value of £21.3 billion ($33.1bn; €33.9bn). Although such continued growth highlights the resilience of consumer confidence (despite the growing threat of war and weakness in the stock markets), September’s rate is the lowest year-on-year rise since January 2001.

There are also signs of a slowdown in the month-on-month figures. September was up just 0.4% on August, which was in turn 0.7% higher than in July.

Nevertheless, department stores enjoyed a bumper month, posting a 3.8% climb in sales between August and September – the biggest monthly rise for over six years.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff