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Retail sales pick up in August

Retail sales in the UK rose by 1.3% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in August as shoppers looked ahead to the autumn with purchases of clothing and back-to-school kit. On a total basis, sales were up 2.4%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail sales pick up in August

Retail sales in the UK rose by 1.3% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in August as shoppers looked ahead to the autumn with purchases of clothing and back-to-school kit. On a total basis, sales were up 2.4%.

The figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG in their monthly retail sales monitor show that total non-food sales returned to growth by edging up 0.9% in the three months to August.

Meanwhile, total food sales rose by 3.2% in the three-month period.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “August provided a welcome pick-up in retail sales across channels, with mon-food returning to growth as shoppers’ attentions turned to homewares, autumn clothing ranges and the new school term.

"However, these figures tell a less positive story about the health of consumer spending than it might seem at first glance. Non-food sales have only just recovered to levels seen two years ago, after a dismal August in 2016; while strong figures for food are largely the result of rising prices, leaving growth in volume terms weaker than last year.”

Non-food online sales rose by 11% in the month.

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