October retail sales in Britain fell more than economists had expected, as people cut back on shopping for food and clothing as well as fuel.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that although sales were up in September by a revised 0.5%, October’s numbers went the other way, and by quite a bit more than economists had predicted. According to London’s Office of National Statistics, sales including fuel, which had been expected to fall by only 0.1%, instead registered a drop of 0.8%. Food sales alone, which make up about 41% of retail sales, contributed to that plunge by falling 0.6%.
Even though inflation is coming in above the Bank of England’s target of 2% and the bank’s Monetary Policy Council chose not to engage in another round of QE at its last meeting, Gov. Mervyn King said the policy council had not completely ruled out an additional round of QE in the future, should it be necessary, to boost growth.