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  • UK retail sales rose 0.3% m/m in August, arriving way above market expectations.
  • The core retail sales in the UK increased by 0.3% m/m in August.

The UK retail sales rose 0.3% over the month in August, surprising markets to the upside while core retail sales stripping the auto motor fuel sales also unexpectedly rose 0.3% m/m.

On an annualized basis, the UK retail sales rose 3.3% in August versus 2.3% expected while the core retail sales also ticked 3.5% higher in the reported month versus 4.0% previous and 2.5% expectations.

Main Points:

The month-on-month growth rate in the quantity bought in food stores at negative 0.6% and clothing stores at negative 1.9% was offset by strong growth in other non-food stores at 2.8% and household goods stores at 4.5%.

In the three months to August, the quantity bought increased by 2% when compared with the previous three months, with continued growth across all sectors.

The last three months of summer from June to August 2018 saw an increase in the quantity bought at 3.4%, with food and household goods stores doing well in the warm weather when compared with the previous summer, while non-store retailing continued to show strong growth.

Spending online continued to increase to reach a new record proportion of all retailing at 18.2%; with strong growth in department stores also reaching a record proportion at 18.4%.

Commenting on today’s retail sales figures, Office for National Statistics (ONS) Senior statistician, Rhian Murphy said:

“”Retail sales remained strong in the three months to August, with continued growth across all sectors. Food and household goods stores particularly benefitted from the warm weather when compared with last summer.”