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Retail strongest in early 2014

08 Aug 2014

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released official data showing that retail in the second quarter of this year was the strongest in a decade.

Retail sales volumes went up 1.6% between April and June compared to the first quarter, which is the strongest quarterly increase since 2004.

In contrast, sales in June rose by only 0.1% compared to May. This puts them 3.6% higher than the same month in 2013, but 0.3% lower than anticipated in a survey conducted by Reuters. The price of goods was also the same as June last year, having fallen by 0.7% in May.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at HIS Global Insight, said: ‘Survey evidence from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) indicates that retail sales rebounded markedly in July, seemingly helped by the warmer weather. However, it is questionable how strong consumer spending can be on a sustained basis until earnings growth picks up appreciably’.