online-shopping2It seems there are many dyed-in-the-wool Brits happy to blame everything on Brexit, from the fall in the pound to that black fly in your Chardonnay. Or is that irony?

Anyway, it seems, in some areas, those Brexit doom-mongers are having their faces rubbed in their paella. That’s because a surge in online sales has helped retailers report a 4.1% rise in yearly sales, with the amount spent online rising 22% from September 2015.

Of course, those extra sales could all have been down to air-raid shelters and tinfoil hats, but I digress. And the Office for National Statistics says that sales would have been even higher but for the warm weather in September. Brits seemed happy to dispense with their togs, as textile and clothing spending fell by 5.4%.

In the last year, average weekly spending topped £1billion for the first time. This flies in the face of Remainers’ predictions that nervous Brits would cut back spending to the bare essentials after losing the vote back in June.

The amount spent overall increased by 2.9% compared with September 2015, with £36 billion forked out in total last month – a rise of 0.1% on August.

The total amount spent on retail showed a 21.9% rise from September last year, while the amount spent over the Internet accounted for 15% of all retail spending, compared with 12.6% in September 2015. This excludes petrol and diesel, which aren’t available online. Although it would be fun if they were.

Prices are falling, too. Average store prices plunged 1.1% last month against the previous September, with falls in prices across all store types except clothing and petrol.

The ONS stated that the underlying pattern in retail is one of ‘relatively strong growth’. Which all just goes to show. Although exactly what, we’re not sure. But if you’re in doubt, ask Robert Peston.

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Author Chris Painter

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