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British retail sales fall after surge

[LONDON] Britain's retail sales slid last month ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season, official data showed Thursday.

Sales by volume slipped by 0.6 per cent in October compared with one year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

Analysts' consensus forecast had been for a drop of 0.5 per cent.

Retail sales had meanwhile surged by 1.7 per cent in September as the Rugby World Cup lifted food purchases, although the figure was revised down slightly from an initial estimate of 1.9 per cent, the ONS said.