Back-to-school boost for retail sales
Retail sales rose in August after school uniform-buying helped small shops and large stores see an increase in online sales, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said retail sales by volume rose 0.2% month-on-month in August compared with zero growth in July. Year-on-year sales registered a 3.7% increase.
The figures were stronger than expected by most economists. ONS head of retail sales statistics, Kate Davies, said: "UK retail sales continue to grow in 2015, but the figures show that growth is coming evenly from both small and large retailers, which both saw 0.9% increases in August.
"Small stores were particularly boosted during August by sales of school uniforms, while most of the growth in the large stores was coming from online sales."
Ian Gilmartin, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, also welcomed the figures. He said: "It's been another good month for retailers. The external environment wasn't the easiest, with volatility in the global economy naturally resulting in some consumers thinking twice before spending, so to have still achieved year-on-year growth is positive news for the industry."