Retail sales dip in August

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ONS: Retail sales dip in August
The ONS has recorded the first decline in monthly retail sales since May.
// August retail sales fall 0.2% month-on-month, the ONS says
// This follows a 0.4% increase in July & 1% uptick in June
// Year on year, sales grew by 2.7% in August, down from 3.4% in July

A healthy summer of retail sales took a turn in August as UK shoppers bought fewer goods than in July, new figures show.

According to the ONS’s monthly data, retail sales fell by 0.2 per cent month-on-month –  after a 0.4 per cent uptick in July and one per cent increase in June.

The ONS blamed the first decline since May on the end of pre-summer holiday promotions, as well as the biggest monthly fall in online sales since August 2015 compared to the previous month.

Online sales as a proportion of all retailing fell to 19.7 per cent from the 19.9 per cent reported in July.

However, three-monthly figures show “moderate” sales growth of 0.6 per cent.

On a year on year basis, overall retail sales grew by 2.7 per cent in August, compared to the 3.4 per cent increase recorded in July.

The ONS said this was “a slowdown compared to the stronger growth experienced earlier in the year which peaked at 6.7 per cent in March”.

“Retail sales grew moderately in the three months to August with online sales still providing the biggest driver, despite falling back in the latest month,” ONS head of retail Rhian Murphy said.

“Shoppers spent less on both food and clothing while department stores resumed their downward trend after a brief rally in July.”

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