UK Retail Sales Edge up in August, Helped by School Uniform Sales

British retail sales edged up in August after a weak couple of months, official data showed on Thursday, helped by sales of clothing particularly school uniforms.

Retail sales volumes rose 0.2 percent on the month to show 3.7 percent growth on the year, having stalled in July and dipped in June in monthly terms, the Office for National Statistics said.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise 0.2 percent and for sales to be up 3.8 percent compared with August last year.

“Small stores were particularly boosted in August by sales of school uniforms, while most of the growth in large stores was coming from online,” Kate Davies, head of retail sales statistics at the ONS said.

Britain’s economy relies heavily on consumer demand for growth. A pick-up in wage growth this year, combined with inflation hovering around zero, has helped restore some of the spending power lost in the years after the financial crisis.

The Bank of England is keeping a close eye on wage growth and its impact on demandand inflation as it mulls its first rate hike in over seven years.


Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.