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 per cent in August compared with a year ago. In July the growth rate was 5.1 per cent. This is a similar trend to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) 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. “
She added, “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.”