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Retail growth slows in August

Published: 17 September 2010
Sales volumes drop 0.5% between July and August but non-specialised stores and non-store retailers fare well, as the only sectors to see an increase.
Retail growth slows in August
Predominantly food stores reported a decrease in sales volume of 0.5%, while non-food stores dropped 0.7%. Within predominantly non-food stores, there were decreases across all sectors apart from non-specialised stores, which increased by 0.9%. Non-store retailing saw an increase in sales volume of 2.1%.

More encouragingly, year-on-year, the volume of retail sales in August was 0.4% higher than in August 2009. Non-food stores reported a 4.6% increase, with rises across all sectors apart from household goods outlets, which fell by 1.5%. Again, the largest rise in non-food stores was non-specialised shops at 10.8% - the biggest increase for the sector since February 2000. Non-store retailing reported a 16.6% jump in sales.

The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales for August 2010 was also 1.9% higher tan in August 2009.

Deloitte Strategic Retail Adviser Richard Hyman said: "Today's figures show an increase in retail sales for August, but with weak comparatives from the same period last year the underlying weakness of demand in the retail economy may be masked. While the Government's strategy has now been announced, the real impact of its implementation will not be felt until next year."

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse's head of Global Research Giles Keating said in a recent interview: "If you look back historically, it's very usual 18 months into a recovery to have a bit of a slowdown. It's linked to the way the inventory cycle operates.
So yes, there can be another 6 months or so of a bit more sluggish growth than it was. But we think the recovery will continue."


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