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ONS Retail Sales August 2019

Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel) rose by 2.8% year-on-year in August 2019, according to the latest figures from the ONS. This is down on the 3.8% rise in the previous month and well below the 4.9% rise in July 2018.

In volume terms, retail sales rose by 2.2% on last year (seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel). On a month-on-month basis, volumes contracted by 0.3%.

A more accurate reflection of underlying trends, shown by the three-month on three-month growth, reported a 0.6% increase in sales volumes in the three months to August.

Average store prices including fuel increased by 0.6% on the year (excluding fuel, up by 0.6%), softening on the 0.8% rise (0.8%) in the previous month. Average prices in food stores increased by 1.7% year-on-year in August, up on 1.5% increase in the previous month. Non-Food store prices fell back into decline, down by 0.3% in August, following a 0.3% increase last month.

Online sales (non-seasonally adjusted, excluding automotive fuel) increased by 11.6% year-on-year, down on the 14.0% rise last year. However, these figures are subject to revisions. Online sales accounted for approximately 18.2% of all retail spending.

Retail sales (volume, seasonally adjusted) – 3-months on previous 3-months

Source: ONS

ONS data is notably more upbeat than the figures released by BRC-KPMG earlier in the month, reporting that like-for-like sales were down by 0.5% and flat on a total sales basis.

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