UK retail sales: consumers spending more but getting less
- Retail sales volumes rose by an estimated 0.4% in August, following a fall of 1.1% in July (revised up from 1.2%).
- Sales volumes are up 0.3% in the three months to August 2023.
- The month saw a rise of 1.2% in food store sales and 0.6% in non-food store sales, non-store retail volumes fell 1.3%.
- Retail sales had been expected to rise by 0.5% (Trading Economics).
Nicholas Hyett, Investment Manager at Wealth Club, commented: “High street sales in August bounced back after a wet July saw shoppers stay at home. Meanwhile the stronger high street performance put a dampener on online sales, as more of us ventured back into the shops.
While sales weren’t quite as strong as economists had expected, the broad narrative of a relatively strong UK consumer remains intact. However, it’s worth noting that while sales values have ticked up, volumes have continued their recent downward trend. We’re spending more but getting less as inflation bites.
Economically speaking the consumer may be robust, but it probably doesn’t feel like that to the individual when the shopping bags get lighter every month.”