Official retail figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), confirm that a tentative recovery is continuing to build. Excluding fuel, the ONS numbers show the total value of sales growth (not seasonally adjusted) was 3.8% in August compared with a year ago. In July the growth rate was 5.1%. This is a similar trend to the British Retail Consortium’s own figures, released on 11 September.
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.”