Department store discounts drove another rise in retail sales volumes in June, boosting hopes for overall growth, official figures due out next week have shown.
The 0.2% month-on-month increase builds on a 2.1% rise in May – the first run of back-to-back growth in a year – said the Office for National Statistics.
It translates to growth in the sector of 0.9% over the second quarter, a rise that will push up overall GDP by 0.1%. The increase should contribute to the expected second three-month period of GDP growth for the economy. The figures are due on July 25.
Supermarkets were hit as food sales volumes fell by 0.1% in June, while non-food stores grew 0.6%.
The largest contribution came from department stores, which saw a 3% increase, statisticians said it was driven by discounting and clearance sales.
There was also a 0.6% rise in household goods stores although the textile, clothing and footwear sector slumped by 0.3%.
The figures are closely watched because the retail industry accounts for 5.7% of the economy.