Discounting helped boost July’s retail sales more than had been predicted.
Sales rose 0.7% month on month, the highest increase since February and confounding pundits’ expectations of 0.2%. Sales were up 4.4% on those of a year earlier. However, the underlying growth rate in the three months to July dropped 1.1%.
Household goods enjoyed the largest rise in almost six years – 13.4% year on year. However, discounts in sectors such as furniture and electrical goods were partly responsible. Overall, sales of non-food products were up 7.1% on a year earlier, the highest rise for three years.