UK retail sales declined more-than-expected in September 2014, driven by a sharp contraction in clothing sales, according to the report released by Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Sales fell 0.3% in September from a month ago, when it rose 0.4% This was the first drop in four months.

Food sales recovered in September, up 0.6% versus a 0.8% drop in August. In contrast, non-food sales declined 1.9% compared to a 1.6% rise in the prior month.

The ONS said clothing and footwear sales were down by 7.8% as unseasonably warm weather made consumers delay their purchases of autumn and winter.

For the third quarter, overall retail sales gained 0.3% from the previous three months, suggesting that underlying pattern continues to show growth.

Nonetheless, this was the weakest growth seen in sales throughout 2014, the agency noted.

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By GlobalData

Year-over-year, retail sales volume including automotive fuel grew 2.7% in September following a 3.7% rise in August. This was the 18th consecutive annual growth, the longest period of sustained expansion since May 2008.

Although, rate of growth was weaker than an expected 2.9% rise. Excluding automotive fuel, sales growth slowed to 3.1% from 4.4% in August. Sales were forecast to grow by 3.4%.