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The Office for National Statistics reported on Thursday that U.K retail sales rise only slightly in October on low food and clothing demand.

Retail sales grew 0.3 percent in October from September, but slightly quicker than the estimated 0.2 percent and inverted the 0.7 percent slump in September.

Excluding fuel, sales volume increased 0.1 percent after a 0.6 percent slip in September. Some economists had projected sales to stay flat.

The drop was largely compelled by a 0.4 percent decline in food store sales. At the same time, sales of food store recovered 0.8 percent in October.

Moreover, ONS report displayed that retail sales recorded its first yearly fall in four years in October. The whole retail sales volume dropped 0.3 percent,  retreating a revised 1.3 percent increase in September. Sales were anticipated to fall 0.5 percent.

Similarly, stripping out fuel, retail sales fell 0.3 percent compared to 1.6 percent rise in September. Economists had projected a 0.4 percent decline. This was also the first yearly decline since March 2013.

“We are continuing to see an underlying picture of steady growth in retail sales, although this October suffered comparison with a very strong October in 2016,” Kate Davies, ONS senior statistician, said.

Period to period growth in October was mainly high in the second-hand goods sector, which includes auction houses and antique dealers, Davies said.

According to James Smith, an ING economist, the household spending tight may have passed its worst and significant price rises will drift downwards from here.

But wage growth is still under pressure and with jobs growth indicating early signs of delaying, incomes may not grow a fast as the Bank of England is wishing them to be in 2018, Smith said.

That means consumers are likely to pursue to take a careful approach to spending for at least two more quarters, Smith noted.

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UK’S Consumers Christmas Spending

Meanwhile, according to a survey by the financial services company Deloitte on Thursday, Britons are expected to outspend the rest of the Europe this Christmas and they particularly plan to spend money on gifts.

The company’s survey of 8,154 consumers across 10 European countries showed that the U.K’s consumers anticipate spending an average GBP 544 this Christmas, which is 38 percent more than the European average. In addition, Britons are planning to do shopping on the on the majority of their festive season in November.

The survey also found out that the U.K. is the second highest spending market in Europe after Spain and ahead of third place Italy.

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