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UK Retail Sales for the Month of February Dropped as Online Sales Flatlined

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data today showing that retail sales in the UK fell in February. This is due to online shopping falling back to pre-epidemic levels and the stormy weather not encouraging people to spend much time outdoors.

Retail sales fell 0.3% month-on-month in February.

According to ONS, retail sales in February 2020 were higher than before the coronavirus outbreak, but the share of online sales is the lowest since March 2020 with 27.8%.

Compared with the previous year, retail sales rose by 7.0% overall.

In addition, the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced that UK auto production was down 41% year-on-year in February. This is due to the ongoing shortage of chips and the closure of a Honda plant in July last year.

According to the SMMT, U.K. auto production in February was 61,657 units, the lowest level since 2009 and down 105,008 units from February 2021.

“The auto manufacturing sector hopes to recover in 2022, but the recovery has not yet begun. And now urgent action is needed to help mitigate the impact of rising energy costs, and making sure the automotive sector remains competitive globally,”

said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Haws.

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