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ONS Retail Sales figures reveal retail sales volumes for August fell by 0.5%

The fall in August was driven by decline in both food and non-food store segments.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

ONS Retail Sales figures reveal retail sales volumes for August fell by 0.5%

The fall of 0.5% is figures is lower than the 0.3% rise expected by economists. The monthly growth in retail sales for July was also revised to 0.8% from 1.1%.

The August 2010 ONS report stated that year-on-year sales volumes have grown by 0.4% and by 1.4% for the three months to August 2010. Monthly food stores sales decreased by 0.5% in August 2010, while non-food stores increased by 0.7%. Within non-food stores there were decreases across all sectors apart from non-specialised stores, which increased by 0.9%.
Non-store retailing increased by 2.1%.

Commenting on ONS retail sales figures for August, Richard Lowe, Head of Retail and Wholesale at Barclays Corporate said:

“The slow down started to show in August with subdued consumer confidence finally filtering through to the High Street. The environment is likely to get tougher with next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review weighing heavily on household purses. The one significant increase, which is encouraging, was from e-commerce with a significant rise in online sales”.

According to ONS, consumer price inflation remained flat in August at 3.1% although there were significant upward and downward pressures between July and August. Clothing and footwear prices rose by 2.8% in August, driven by women’s outwear where prices rose sharply at the start of the autumn fashion season. Food prices also rose, with strong monthly rises in the cost of bread, cereals and vegetables. Non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by 5.8% (down 0.1% on the July figure), whilst alcoholic beverage and tobacco prices rose by 1.8%, and 7.2% respectively.

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