The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released seasonally adjusted sales figures for the UK retail sector today, which reveal that the quantity of goods bought in July 2013 increased by an estimated 3.0% in comparison to July last year. In the same period an increase in the amount spent in the retail sector was estimated at 4.9%, while the price of goods sold in the retail sector rose by 1.8%, over July 2012.
The ONS figures are based on a survey of 5,000 retailers and show that sales in the food and non-store retailing sectors increased the most, which suggests that the hot weather in July helped to boost sales in products such as food, alcohol, clothing and outdoor items.
The food retail sector saw the highest increase in quantity bought since April 2011, with a 2.1% rise compared to July last year. On a monthly basis, supermarket sales rose by 2.5% in July 2013 compared to June 2013.
According to the ONS data, the estimated weekly spend across all retailing was an average of £7.0bn in July this year, an increase from £6.8bn in June 2013 and up from £6.7bn in July 2012. The retail sector figures were said to be significantly larger than expected and are regarded as an indicator of how the wider economy is performing, as well as the strength of consumer spending.