UK sales volumes rise by 0.1 per cent
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that retail sales volumes in the UK rose by 0.1% in July.
This means the figure has bounced back from a fall in the previous month, which is good news for the continued revival of the UK economy.
Year on year
The small rise is mainly due to strong growth in sales of household goods, which in fact helped to negate the effects of a decrease in sales of clothes and petrol.
Year on year, average store prices dropped 3%, with an 11% fall in petrol prices mainly to blame. The fall in garage forecourt fuel prices is due to a 50% drop in the price of oil over the past 12 months, although only a fraction of this decrease has found its way through to consumers so far.
Overall, both monthly and annual retail sales figures came in lower than had been expected.
The ONS figures revealed that successes included a 20% increase in the sales of electrical goods and furniture in July compared to the previous month.
Internet sales continued to rise, up 13%, and the importance of online shopping to the overall UK economy was highlighted by the fact that they made up 12.6% of total retail sales.
One of the explanations for the figures being slightly lower than expected is the fact that wages are rising faster than inflation, which essentially means that consumers should have more disposable income.
Ian Geddes at Deloitte commented: "With wages increasing, falling fuel prices and with a low interest rate environment, discretionary spending has been boosted by rising real incomes."
"With more money in their pockets, consumers are choosing to spend their money on big ticket items. This is particularly the case for the furniture and household goods subsectors, with consumers making home improvements during the summer months," he explained.