retail sales

UK retail sales have smashed forecasts, rising by 0.3 percent in August.

The Office for National Statistics announced a rise in retail sales, beating forecasts of a 0.2 percent decline.

Whilst sales in food and clothing fell by 0.6 percent and 1.9 percent respectively, figures were offset by strong sales in household goods sales, which jumped by 4.5 percent and non-food stores, which increased by 2.8 percent.

Spending online also reached a new record proportion of all retailing at 18.2 percent.

Food stores performed strongly during the heatwave, with the ONS citing evidence of television sales during the World Cup, which contributed to strong performance for household goods retailers.

Office for National Statistics senior statistician, Rhian Murphy, commented: “Retail sales remained strong in the three months to August, with continued growth across all sectors. Food and household goods stores particularly benefitted from the warm weather when compared with last summer.”

“The figures for the month of August were a little more mixed, with food sales falling after strong sales earlier in the summer and clothing sales declining following a strong July, as suggested by clothing retailers. On the other hand, household goods grew strongly.”

The data from the ONS will influence the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates in August. Policymakers have said they are confident that economic activity is recovering from the slump that was seen at the start of the year.