Strong August marks “continued growth across all sectors” for the quarter

Expected Christmas footfall surge delayed by Black Friday

Retail sales edged up in August marking “continued growth across all sectors” for the quarter, but food and clothing sales are beginning to falter.

According to the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) latest figures, retail sales in terms of amount spent throughout August rose 0.6 per cent compared to a strong July, but were up a healthy 5.6 per cent compared to a year earlier.

Retail sales in terms of amount bought also rose 0.3 per cent last month compared to a month earlier, while rising 3.3 per cent compared to August 2017.

A boost in sales household goods sales drove a 0.7 per cent growth in values for non-food stores, the best performing sector during the month.

In contrast food stores were the only sector to see a drop in sales, with sales in terms of both value and volume dropping 0.2 per cent month on month.

Non-store sales remained flat over the month.

“Retail sales remained strong in the three months to August, with continued growth across all sectors,” ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy said.

“Food and household goods stores particularly benefitted from the warm weather when compared with last summer.

“The figures for the month of August were a little more mixed, with food sales falling after strong sales earlier in the summer and clothing sales declining following a strong July, as suggested by clothing retailers. On the other hand, household goods grew strongly.”

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