Surprise rise in shop sales

Retail sales staged a surprise revival last month, official figures showed today.

Sales volumes in July were 0.8 per cent higher than the previous month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The fall was in stark contrast to a 0.2 per cent fall expected by the City, and the record 3.9 per cent fall reported in June.

The biggest contribution to July's rise was a 2.8 per cent rise for "other stores", which includes sales of computer games and mobile phones. Clothing and shoe shops also saw a 1.5 per cent improvement compared to previous month.



Food sales were 0.3 per cent ahead in July compared to June. The ONS said there was evidence of growth in the discount food sector - which includes chains such as Aldi and Lidl. This is consistent with recent supermarket industry data which showed the discount sector enjoying its highest market share on record.

Household good shops - which includes furniture and electricals - also rose 1.6 per cent.

Sales for non-store retailing and repair, including internet and mail order, were 0.1 per cent down.

The only other sector showing a decrease was non-specialised stores - mainly department stores - which saw sales volumes fall 2.6 per cent last month.

Compared to July last year, retail sales volumes were 2.1 per cent ahead, the ONS said. The average weekly value of sales in July was £5.2 billion, 3.8 per cent higher than last year.

The rise also contrasts with data from the British Retail Consortium for July, which showed a 0.9 per cent drop on a like-for-like basis compared with a year ago.

The ONS's 3.9 per cent sales fall reported for June, which was the biggest drop since records began in January 1986, has actually been revised downward further to a 4.3 per cent dive, the organisation said.

The slump was consistent with a widespread consumer slowdown as households wrestle with soaring food and energy prices.

July's unexpected rise will add to the uncertainty regarding the Bank of England's next interest rate movement.

Rate-setters are battling with runaway inflation, which reached 4.4 per cent in July, as well as a slowing economy.

For the three months ending July, ONS data showed retail sales volumes were 0.8 per cent better compared to the previous three months. The main driver was from clothing and footwear shops, which saw sales rise 3.1 per cent.

July's price deflator, which measures whether prices are moving up or down, was 1.6 per cent higher than a year ago. This was last as high in July 1998.

The main driver was food inflation, which was 6.1 per cent in July, the highest reading since March 1992.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Planning Manager (Training, Learning and Development) - London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering