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Published on August 18th, 2016 | by The GC Team

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July retail sales rise beyond expectations

Fears of a slowdown in consumer spending following the outcome of the EU referendum again proved to be unfounded as shoppers took advantage of falling prices on the high street and online.

Retail sales rose 5.9% year on year in July, according to the Office for National Statistics, with all sectors showing growth and the main contribution coming from non-food stores.

Compared with June 2016, sales volumes increased by 1.4%.

Online sales also rose, up 16.7% compared with July 2015 and by 1.2% on last month.

But the Confederation of British Industry warned that the consumer spending spree won’t last. Head of Economic Analysis Anna Leach said: “Looking ahead, we can expect weaker spending. The recent fall in the pound will push up the cost of everyday purchases over the coming year, which will eat into households’ spending power.

“To dispel uncertainty and keep business and consumer confidence up, it’s critical that the government sets out a clear plan and timetable for forthcoming EU negotiations. At the same time, firms will want to see progress on domestic policy priorities, like a new runway in the South East, and an ambitious Autumn Statement to spur growth.”

Today’s ONS figures also showed that the amount spent in retail increased in July, up 3.6% compared with July 2015 and 1.6% compared with last month.

Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 2.0% year on year, and by 0.8% month on month.

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