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Retail sales increase 1% in August as prices continue to rise, according to ONS figures

PUBLISHED: 11:15 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:57 20 September 2017

Shoppers/shopping/shopping bags/busy/shops/packed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shoppers/shopping/shopping bags/busy/shops/packed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Inflationary pressures pushed up shop prices further in August, recording the highest year-on-year growth in 25 years, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics said non-food stores and non-store retailing prices in the month were up by 3.2% and 3.3% respectively compared with a year earlier, the highest growth since March 1992.

The Retail Sales Index (RSI) also recorded a 2.4% increase in the quantity bought in August compared with a year previously, and a 1% month-on-month increase.

Overall growth came from non-essential items, with year-on-year contributions from food stores remaining flat and petrol station sales falling, the ONS said.

Senior statistician Kate Davies said: “Within this month’s retail sales we are seeing strong price increases across all store types compared with a year ago, reflecting wider inflationary pressures.

“However, we are still seeing underlying growth in sales volumes, and with strong growth in non-essential purchases as consumers continued to buy more from non-food stores.”

Clothing and footwear stores had a good month in August with a 7.9% increase in the value of sales, while non-store retailing saw a 19% jump in sales value and a 15.5% increase in the quantity bought.

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