// UK retail sales rose in August for the fourth consecutive month
// Sales volumes increased by 0.8% compared with July
// August also saw a 4% increase in sales compared with February
Retail sales in the UK rose in August for the fourth consecutive month thanks to demand across the homewares range, according to new research.
Sales volumes last month increased by 0.8 per cent compared with July, the ONS found.
August also saw a four per cent increase in sales compared with February, which was prior to the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Retail sales values increased 0.7 per cent in August compared with July and 2.5 per cent compared with February.
Meanwhile, non-store retailing volumes were 38.9 per cent above February and clothing stores were still 15.9 per cent below February’s pre-pandemic levels.
The ONS also saw an increase in spending for home improvements, with sales volumes in household goods stores up by 9.9 per cent compared with February.
Online retail sales fell by 2.5 per cent in August compared with July, but remained 46.8 per cent higher than in February as the pandemic caused Brits shop online.
“Retail sales continued to grow, further surpassing their pre-pandemic level,” ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said.
“Sales of household goods thrived as the demand for home improvement continued and, despite a dip this month, online sales remained high.
“However, clothing stores continued to struggle with sales still well below their February level.
“Overall, the switch to greater online sales means the high street remains under pressure.”