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Business update: More money in shoppers’ pockets in Christmas run-up

Shoppers are expected to have more spending power in the run-up to Christmas, with October inflation measured at 1.5 per cent, less than half the average increase in pay in the year to September.

October food sales were a little weaker than in September, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), but are still out-performing general retail sales with 1.6 per cent year-on-year growth in the three months to the end October.

 

Average food prices were 1.6 per cent higher in October than the year before, up from 1.1 per cent in September, according to the BRC.

 

Analysis by Kantar for the AHDB shows the volume of meat, poultry and fish fell by 1.8 per cent in the 20 weeks to September 8, with a 5.5 per cent drop in processed meat.

 

Summer

 

Lamb sales increased by 0.7 per cent, although that was on the back of a 9.6 per cent drop the previous year. Dairy sales were down 0.9 per cent and potatoes down 3.3 per cent.

 

Overall sales this year did not benefit from a long hot summer as they did in 2018.

 

September UK food exports were at a monthly record of £2.321 billion, up one-fifth on the September 2018 total, as exporters increased shipments in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October.

 

Annual exports were above £24bn for the first time.


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