Retail sales fall 0.8% in February
In a further blow to hopes for growth in the wider economic, retail sales volumes for January were downwardly revised to 0.3% from an estimate of 0.9%.
The decline for February was the sharpest drop seen in nine months but sales volumes during the past three months were still 1.7% higher than the same period a year earlier.
Sales volumes at food stores fell 0.1% in the month while sales at non-food stores dropped 1.5%. This was driven by a 1.2% fall in clothing and footwear sales.
The ONS said retail sales values fell 0.4% in February. A total £24.6 billion was spent in the retail sector in the month compared to £24.4 billion in January.
Online retailers put in the best performance with 10.7% of all sales now made via the internet.
The ONS blamed the January revision on smaller stores which delivered a weak performance compared to previous stronger growth.
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