UK retail sales up 3.3% on year in July

| August 20, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed a rise in UK retail sales for the month of July.

According to the ONS, retail sales rose 0.4% in July when compared with the previous month, while on an annual basis, the gain was 3.3% - the best performance since May 2008.

Many analysts had forecast a smaller monthly rise following a strong result in June, which was revised upwards from 1.2% to 1.3%.

Retail sales were driven by strong demand of furniture and electrical items, while clothing and footwear sales were up 10.3% on year.

The ONS said sales of household goods on a month-on-month basis jumped to their highest level since August 2006, fuelled by a recent improvement in the housing market.

Commenting on today’s figures, Vicky Redwood at Capital Economics, said: “The retail sector clearly has built up a decent amount of positive momentum, which could well last a few months more.”

“But we remain pretty gloomy about the outlook for sales further ahead - not least because of the looming tax rises on the horizon,” added Redwood.

In other news today, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) revealed that mortgage lending was up 26% during July when compared with June, with gross lending at £16 billion.

However, other news today shows that Government borrowing has soared to its highest level in July since records began, due to a slump in tax receipts.

Official figures show that public sector net borrowing was £8 billion in July.

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