Back to school costs boosts UK retail sales in August

Retails sales in the UK increased during August 2015, partly due to sales of school uniforms and equipment, according to the Office for National statistics (ONS) seasonally adjusted Retail Sales, August 2015 report released on Thursday.

The ONS monthly retail business survey revealed that UK retail sales continued to sustain year-on-year growth, with the volume of retail sales in August 2015 estimated to have increased by 3.7% when compared with August last year. This was the 29th consecutive month that retails sales had grown.

Underlying pattern in the data, as suggested by the quarterly movement in the quantity bought, indicates a 0.4% increase in growth for the 30th consecutive month.

The quantity of goods bought in the retail industry during August 2015 is estimated to have increased by 0.2% compared with July 2015.

There was a fall in average store prices, including petrol stations, in August 2015, dropping by 3.3% in comparison to the previous August. Last month was recorded as the 14th consecutive month of decreases in year-on-year prices.

Retail spending increased by 0.2% in August 2015 when compared with August last year. However this figure decreased by 0.3% compared with July 2015.

Online sales were higher by 7.4% in August this year, as compared with August 2014, but decreased by 2.7% when compared with the previous month.

Estimates of performance in the retail sector reported by ONS are based on a monthly survey of 5,000 retailers, including all large retailers employing 100 people or more and those with annual turnover of greater than GBP60m who employ 10 to 99 people. ONS estimates that this survey covers approximately 95% of all known retail turnover in Great Britain.