U.K. retailers could face a tough Christmas this year as the soaring cost of living hits households, analysts have warned.
BBC News reports that retail sales rose 0.6% in October, but this followed a drop in sales the previous month when stores closed for the Queen's funeral. Despite October's rebound, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales remain below pre-pandemic levels.
Analysts said October's rise could be a "false dawn" and the key Christmas trading period could be "difficult."
The U.K.'s inflation rate hit 11.1% in October — the highest for 41 years — and the government has said the country is in an economic recession.
The latest ONS figures said sales volumes rose by 0.6% in October following a 1.5% drop in September.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics for the ONS, said the October rebound in sales was mainly due to September's sales being affected by the extra public holiday for the state funeral. "Looking at the broader picture, retail sales continue their downward trend seen since summer 2021 and are below where they were pre-pandemic," he added.
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