Retail sales in the UK rose by 0.4 per cent in July, taking the annual gain to 3.3 per cent, providing further hope that the worst of recession has passed by.
The increase is better than predicted and follows June's marked rise, which has been revised upwards from 1.2 per cent to 1.3 per cent, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
In the month, household good stores performed particularly well, with sales up by 4.5 per cent – the steepest monthly rise in the sector for almost three years. The ONS said rise was predominantly driven by furniture and electrical stores.
The annual improvement is the highest figure since May 2008 and was driven by sales in the clothing and footwear sector, which were up by some 10.3 per cent compared to July last year.
Food stores also enjoyed an annual increase, albeit at a smaller level, with sales increasing by two per cent.
The latest three month on three month comparison is also encouraging, as total sales rose by 1.2 per cent in the period between May and July, compared to the previous three months.
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