The Office for National Statistics has reported that sales volume fell by 0.3% month-on-month in October.
The drop follows a decline of 1.1% in September and is in contrast to economist predictions of a rise of 0.3%. Sales fell 1.1% in the three months to October.
Heather Bovill, deputy director for surveys and economic indicators, commented: “Retail sales fell again in October to their lowest level since February 2021 when widespread lockdown restrictions were in place.
“After rebounding in September, fuel sales dipped with increasing prices discouraging customers, while food sales also dropped as consumers prioritised essential goods.
“It was another poor month for household goods and clothes stores with these retailers reporting that cost-of-living pressures, reduced footfall and poor weather hit them hard.
“However, it was a better month for online retailers, the only main sector to report growth in October.”
Online sales increased by 0.8% compared to September.