Sales growth sparks hope for economy

The Office of National Statistics has reported retail sales in June were 0.2 percent higher than May, assisted by heavy discounts in stores. Sales in non-speciality department stores also saw their strongest growth since March 2012, rising by 3 percent.

The modest rise resulted in June 2013 sales being 2.2 percent higher than those recorded in 2012, fuelling hopes of further economic recovery. Warm, sunny weather has spurred retail sales as well, encouraging shoppers to buy summer clothing after delaying their purchases due to the long, cold spring.

The British Retail Consortium today confirmed the positive sales growth seen in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor released earlier this month. Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium stated: "This offers further evidence that tentative signs of a consumer-led recovery are beginning to take hold. Although there are wide variations in individual retailers’ fortunes and on-going volatility from week to week, it’s good news that the ONS figures confirm cautious optimism as they reflect the results of the BRC’s Retail Sales Monitor earlier in July.”

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Continuing, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said the figures "provide retailers with confidence. Last June’s strong sales were boosted by the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, making this strong year-on-year increase all the more impressive. The weather will have lifted consumers’ spirits and willingness to spend, as will a recent series of positive economic indicators including increased housing activity, stable inflation and a small rise in lending. Whilst the sound of sleigh bells is still some way off, figures are beginning to point in the right direction for the all-important golden quarter."





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