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Retail sales volumes up 2.1% year-on-year in August

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that retail sales volumes rose 2.1% year-on-year in the UK in August to continue the underlying pattern of growth seen since April

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail sales volumes up 2.1% year-on-year in August

Retail sales values, excluding fuel, rose by 3.9% year-on-year, largely driven by non-store sector sales which showed 28.1% value growth in August compared to the same month last year.

However, sales volumes fell 0.9% in August from July as shoppers reined in their spending on food. The ONS said food sales volumes dropped 2.7% after sales returned to more normal levels from July when they were boosted by the hot weather. 

When looking at online, weekly spending in the month was £579.6 million in August , which represented an increase of 22.5% year-on-year. However, this compares to unusually low online sales in August 2012 when consumers chose to watch the Olympics and Paralympics instead of shopping on the internet.

Commenting on the figures, British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson, said: "While not quite on a par with an exceptional July, these are strong figures well above the annual average and are sustaining the positive momentum we've seen in recent months. August saw retailers preparing well for the shift towards Autumn and customers responded well to back-to-school offers as well as promotions on late summer stock.

"Alongside improving consumer confidence, a fourth month of shop price deflation and rosier news in the wider economy, this is further validation for the cautious optimism sensed by many at the moment."

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