July sales creep over expectations by a hair

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New figures have revealed a better-than-expected performance in July with a marginal increase in sales across the UK’s retail trade, according to the Office of National Statistics.

The volume of UK retail sales rose 0.3% in July while shop price inflation saw values soar with separate ONS figures showing consumer price inflation was 2.6% over the year to July, down from a peak of 2.9% in May.

The value of retail sales rose 4.6% in the three months to July 2016. The ONS said: “Looking at recent three months on the previous three months, the amount spent showed similar growth to the quantity bought for all retail sales, which suggests that prices are beginning to flatten.”

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Off the high street online sales are reported to have risen 15.1% year-on-year accounting for “approximately 16.0% of all retail spending”, the ONS said.

The gradual decline in figures comes after a record-breaking June. Footfall in June saw an increase of 0.8% compared to a year ago, leaving it ahead of the three month average of 0.5%. The spike in sales follows on from a 2% lull in footfall in May this year.

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