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UK retail sales bounce back last month

UK retail sales recovered in the past month although customers carried the burden of higher inflation, as a new report says. Sales for similar products grew by 1.3% in August, compared to a drop of 0.9% for the same month a year ago, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Autumn collection of apparel and school supplies were driving the upward movement in sales, it also said. However, the trade body noted that curbing spending by consumers was highly probable.

Household budgets have been under pressure of slow wage rise and higher inflation, spurring credit load and fall in savings. The cost of living kept firm at 2.6% back in July, while the growing cost of key products like food, clothes, and others were compensated by the slump in fuel prices. Wages are behind, growing at 2.1%.

And though the sales have grown better, the BRC's CEO, Helen Dickinson, said she was concerned about the coming months. Her opinion is that this data suggests the state of consumer spending is not as upbeat as it might seem.

Food sales kept high, falling back just 0.2% and making 3.2% for the three months to August, still keeping over the yearly mean figure of 2.7%. Online sales of products other than food advanced by 11% last month, while the last year’s level for August was 8.8%.

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