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July heatwave boosted retail sales, says ONS

Published:  15 August, 2013

Signs that the economy is slowly improving are enhanced today with the release of the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that confirm retail sales grew strongly in July.

The ONS estimates that the total value of sales growth (not seasonally adjusted) was 5.1% in July compared with 2.9% a year ago. This is on top of 3.9% growth in June.

The figures back up the latest BRC Retail Sales Monitor statistics which showed 3.9% growth earlier this month.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium's director general, said: "These are very strong sales figures, and they demonstrate just how well retailers have responded to the recent good weather. By giving customers what they want to enjoy, the summer and running the right promotions at the right time, they have driven good sales across the board.

"These results today add to the signs we are seeing of a tentative recovery taking hold. UK retailers still face significant challenges, but the outlook is gradually improving."