Storms and fears over cost-of-living squeeze hit retail sales

Storms and fears over cost-of-living squeeze hit retail sales in February as volumes fall 0.3% despite boost from post-Covid return to offices in England

  • Retail sales were down 0.3% in February despite boost from Covid rules easing
  • Storms and fears over cost-of-living being blamed for the reduction in volumes
  • Fears the situation could get worse as consumers face cost-of-living squeeze
  • Storms and fears over the cost-of-living squeeze helped push retail sales down in February, dit is vandag geopenbaar.

    Volumes fell 0.3 per cent last month as household goods stores saw a significant dip with many blaming the punishing weather.

    The overall reduction came despite travel spending increasing with the lifting of Covid restrictions in England.

    Although the official figures show sales are still 3.7 per cent above pre-pandemic levels, businesses warned that rising inflasie seemed to be curbing the appetite of consumers.

    And there are fears that the situation will get worse, with Treasury watchdog the OBR predicting this week that Britain faces the worst hit to living standards since records began in the 1950s.

    The tax burden is also due to reach the highest level relative to GDP since the 1940s, despite Rishi Sunak ease the pain to an extent with cuts to fuel duty, national insurance and the basic rate of tax.

    Volumes fell 0.3 per cent last month as household goods stores saw a significant dip with many blaming the punishing weather

    Volumes fell 0.3 per cent last month as household goods stores saw a significant dip with many blaming the punishing weather

    Office for National Statistics spokeswoman Heather Bovill said: ‘After a buoyant January, retail sales fell back a little last month.

    ‘There was a notable decline for companies that predominantly trade online, following a strong performance over the festive and New Year period.

    ‘Food sales dipped with significant falls for alcohol and tobacco stores as more consumers went out to pubs and restaurants. More socialising as well as many of us returning to the workplace meant a good month for clothing and department stores with people looking to expand their wardrobes.

    ‘Household goods and many other stores reported a decrease with feedback suggesting February’s stormy weather could have had an impact, while increased travel following the lifting of England’s Plan B restrictions at the end of January drove fuel sales above their pre-pandemic level for the first time.

    Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said ‘rising concerns about inflation appeared to dampen consumer appetites’.

    ‘Consumers face a rocky road ahead, with rises in the energy price cap and NI contributions both coming next week,’ sy het gese.

    ‘Meanwhile confidence has been knocked by the continued rise in inflation, as well as the uncertainty created by the situation in Ukraine.

    ‘While the Chancellor’s Spring Statement offered some relief for consumers, rising inflation and next week’s rise in the energy price cap mean that real discretionary incomes are likely to fall in the coming months, as the cost of living soars.

    The tax burden is also due to reach the highest level relative to GDP since the 1940s, despite Rishi Sunak (pictured at a photo op on Wednesday) ease the pain to an extent with cuts to fuel duty, national insurance and the basic rate of tax

    The tax burden is also due to reach the highest level relative to GDP since the 1940s, despite Rishi Sunak (pictured at a photo op on Wednesday) ease the pain to an extent with cuts to fuel duty, national insurance and the basic rate of tax