Retail sales posted a surprise fall in October as shoppers cut back on food and clothing purchases, data showed on Thursday, reducing the chances consumers will boost the economy in the final quarter.
Sales volumes including automotive fuel fell 0.8 percent on the month to give an annual rise of 0.6 percent, the Office for National Statistics said. Both numbers were the weakest since April and disappointed economists' forecasts.
Food stores reported the biggest monthly decline in sales since November 2011.
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