UK retail sales rise 0.4 per cent in July as summer sales entice shoppers

 
Emma Haslett
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UK shoppers were feeling more confident in July (Source: Getty)

UK retail sales rose 0.4 per cent in July, official data showed today - suggesting summer sales did the trick, enticing consumers to the high street.

The figure - which strips out fuel sales - was an impressive turnaround from a 0.3 per cent fall in June. Including petrol, the figure showed a drop of 0.2 per cent.

But the research suggested prolonged summer sales and the price war between supermarkets did their trick, with average store prices falling three per cent between July 2015 and the same month the year before - the 13th consecutive month of year-on-year falls.

Prices at petrol stations dipped 10.9 per cent, the 23rd consecutive month of year-on-year falls.

But there was some good news for retailers: the amount spent in the sector rose one per cent in July compared with the year before, although fell 0.2 per cent compared with June.

“Following last month’s disappointing numbers, the UK is a nation of shoppers once again," said Dennis de Jong, managing director at UFX.com.
"It’s good news for chancellor George Osborne who’ll now be able to push the stagnant wage growth figures and unemployment rises into the long grass for the time being.
“Lower fuel and food prices will have contributed to the greater expenditure at the tills, along with a seasonal increase as families take advantage of some well-earned time off and hit the shops.
“Any further signs of economic recovery and we’ll surely see Bank of England governor Mark Carney hike interest rates in the near future.”

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