Sales in the UK’s retail sector returned to growth last month as supermarkets, clothing and homeware stores reported stronger trading after wet weather dampened July spending.
Retail sales volumes grew 0.4 per cent in August, up from a revised fall of 1.1 per cent in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Retail sales grew 0.4 per cent in August 2023, partially recovering from a revised fall of 1.1 per cent in July 2023.
When we look more broadly, sales rose 0.3 per cent in the 3 months to August when compared with the previous 3 months.
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) September 22, 2023
It comes in slightly below expectations after economists had predicted a 0.5 per cent rise for August, according to a consensus from Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Clothing stores reported a rebound in spending last month with sales up by 2.3 per cent
However, fuel sales acted as a drag on the overall figure, with volumes falling by 1.2% and retailers suggesting the sharp increase in petrol and diesel prices during the month reduced spending.
Senior ONS statistician Heather Bovill said: “Retail recovered a little from the large fall seen in July, driven by a partial bounce back in food and a strong month for clothing, though sales overall remain subdued.
“These were partially offset by internet sales, which dropped slightly as some people returned to shopping in person following a very wet July.
“Fuel sales also fell, with increased prices hitting demand.”