UK retail sales jump as shoppers ignore Brexit-driven price increases

LONDON — Retail sales in the UK jumped during the month of August as Brits continued to spend strongly on non-essential items, looking beyond the price increases brought about by the pound’s post-referendum slump, new data from the ONS shows.

Sales grew by 2.4% on a year-on-year basis, the ONS said, up from just 1.4% in July, and even further ahead of the 1.1% growth that had been forecast by economists polled prior to the release.

On a month-to-month basis, growth was 1%, compared to an expected 0.2%, the data showed.

“Within this month’s retail sales we are seeing strong price increases across all store types compared with a year ago, reflecting wider inflationary pressures,” Kate Davies, a senior statistician at the ONS said.

“However, we are still seeing underlying growth in sales volumes, and with strong growth in non-essential purchases as consumers continued to buy more from non-food stores.”

On a three-monthly basis, the volume bought increased 1.2%.

Three-month retail sales movements are generally seen as more reliable than a single month’s data, which can be volatile, as June’s big jump shows.

Here’s the chart showing the overall retail sales trend:

More follows …

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.