Although September's monthly retail sales reversed August's growth, there was a continuation of the underlying trend of steady growth in sales volumes, said ONS senior statistician Kate Davies, following a weak start to the year, and a background of generally rising prices.
Inflation in the United Kingdom has risen to its highest level in five years, squeezing the spending power of households but giving a boost to pensioners who will enjoy an increase in their state income.
Excluding petrol sales, retail revenues were down 0.7% in September compared to a month earlier, versus a consensus estimate for a 0.2% decline and a revised prior month's sales growth of 0.9%.
"The price of food and some transport has helped raise inflation in September, and that its effects have been partly affected by lower price increases than previous year in garment sector", explained Mike Prestwood, director of inflation studies of National Center for Statistics.
United Kingdom retail sales fell more than expected in September, as inflation fuelled by a post-Brexit vote fall in the pound continued to chip away at household budgets.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal predicted no change in the volume of sales between the two months.
While overall sales grew at their third-fastest rate so far this year, categories from electricals to gifts saw sales slow significantly. Excluding bonuses, average earnings were 2.1 percent higher.
To this end, Thiru has asked those responsible for Bank of England to "resist temptation to increase interest rates, at present at 0.25%, especially during this period of great political uncertainty".
"However, it is true that things remain challenging for the retail industry".
With inflation likely to stay up around 3 percent for the next few months, albeit set to peak in October, and wage growth set to hover just above 2 percent in the medium-term, the pressure on household budgets is unlikely to dissipate for at least a couple more quarter, Smith added.
Bank governor Mark Carney has said rates could go up in the "relatively near term", with many analysts expecting a hike in November. "Meanwhile, lenders are becoming more reluctant to provide unsecured credit to consumers".
"On one side, inflation is eating consumer's purchasing power, and in the other side, activity is slowing down in the retail sector".