U.K. retail sales fell less than expected in August, in the latest of a mounting body of evidence that Britain's Brexit vote hasn't sent the economy into a tailspin.
An Office for National Statistics report found that retail sales slipped 0.2% on the month, below the 0.4% decline that analysts had expected, after 1.9% expansion in July, which was revised up from 1.4%.
Year-on-year, retail sales rose by 6.2%, the ONS said, with growth slowing only 0.1 of a percentage point from July and comparing with analysts' expectations for a 5.3% rise. By value, retail sales rose 4.1% year-on-year but fell 0.5% from July.
Sales rose from a year earlier in all store categories bar those selling textiles, clothing, footwear and household goods. The ONS said average store prices fell across all store types from a year earlier, with a 2.5% decline at petrol retailers the major culprit. But they said the overall 1.9% average-store-price decline was the smallest since November 2014.
On the month average prices rose by 0.2%.
"Despite August's dip in U.K. retail sales, spending on the high street is still going gangbusters, although some moderation will surely occur over the next few quarters," Capital Economics' economist Paul Hollingsworth.
He pointed to headwinds ahead, "such as slower growth in employment and real earnings and lower confidence."
The report came as Bank of England monetary policy makers gathered to set rates, with no change expected to either rates or the institution's bond buying program after it cut the benchmark bank rate by a quarter point to 0.25% on Aug. 4 and expanded its asset purchase program.
Recent industrial and services-sector data from the U.K. have largely countered early worries of a Brexit-vote-triggered recession, even though third-quarter economic growth is expected to slow from the second-quarter pace of 0.6%, which represented 2.2% year-on-year growth.
The pound was recently down 0.02% against the dollar at $1.3233. U.K. retail stocks were mixed, with food retailers including Tesco (TSCDY) , Sainsbury (JSAIY) and Morrisons (MRWSY) up, and clothing retailers Next and Marks & Spencer (MAKSY) both down.
Next was down about 5% after posting half-year results and saying trading since July has been "challenging and volatile."
Food retailer Morrison rose almost 8% after reporting above-forecast half-year figures including news of a 2% rise in second-quarter same-store sales and "no negative impact on customer sentiment or customer behavior" since the June 23 Brexit vote.