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British retail sales see 4th consecutive month of growth in August
2020/9/21 14:57:40 Source:Xinhua

LONDON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- British retail sales in August recorded the fourth consecutive month of growth, with further above the pre-pandemic levels in February, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Friday.

In August, retail sales volumes and values respectively increased by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent compared to July, and rose by 4.0 percent and 2.5 percent compared to the pre-pandemic performance in February, it said.

"Total retail sales recovered from the sharp falls experienced during the coronavirus pandemic," showing a mixed picture within the different store types, the ONS said.

Figures revealed that non-store retailing volumes continued to see a strong surge in August with 38.9 percent above February, but clothing stores remained 15.9 percent below February's levels.

Meanwhile, although online retail sales fell by 2.5 percent in August compared to July, they were still 46.8 percent higher than those in February.

"UK retail sales volumes up a healthy 0.8 percent month-on-month in August, fourth successive gain," said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, an economics forecasting group.

"Consumer spending has clearly played a leading role in the economy's sharp bounce back in the third quarter," Archer said.

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC UK, a London-based auditing and consultancy firm, said "while there is strong evidence of a welcome V-shaped recovery in the retail sector, it's clear that the headline figures hide mixed performance under the surface."

Hooker said the recovery remains fragile, with concerns ahead including "more widespread lockdowns, rising unemployment or dented consumer confidence" up till Christmas. Enditem

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