Retail sales up as shoppers keep spending


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The Independent Online

The tills of retailers continued to ring loudly last month, as they benefited from favourable weather and growing consumer confidence on the high street.

Retailers’ underlying sales grew by 1.8 per cent in August – which followed a 2.2 per cent leap in July and was the seventh month of growth this year – with homeware, furniture and flooring chains doing particularly well, according to a survey by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG. But the big grocers had a month to forget as their figures came up against strong trading last year during the London Olympics.

KPMG’s David McCorquodale said: “This is a solid performance by retailers and demonstrates that confidence is slowly but surely returning to the UK’s high streets.” He added that the revival is particularly welcome after last summer, “when sales of non-food items ground to a halt as people were distracted by the Olympics”. Boosted by new stores, total sales rose by  3.6 per cent in August, although retailers remain cautious while wages lag behind inflation.