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BRC: UK retail sales up 0.6% in July

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by Kay Mitchell

Retail sales rose in July but conditions remain challenging as households continue to be squeezed by higher inflation and rising unemployment.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/KPMG retail sales monitor, like-for-like sales rose 0.6% last month on an annual basis.

On a total basis, meanwhile, sales were 2.5% higher, against a 2.6% increase in July last year.

Food sales growth was strong last month after a poor performance in June, while clothing and footwear demand remained high.

BRC Director General Stephen Robertson comments: “This is a modest improvement on recent months but overall conditions remain very difficult for retailers.

“When you take into consideration inflation and January’s increase in VAT, 2.5% growth effectively means people are buying fewer goods,” he added.

Analysts believe July’s increase will be a one-off and consumers will tighten their purse strings once the heavy discounting season is over.

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News posted: August 9, 2011

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