In June the underlying rate of growth in retail sales volumes was the highest so far this year, while annual growth remained the lowest for more than six years, according to data out today from the Office for National Statistics. The volume of retail sales in the three months April to June 2005 was 0.7 per cent higher than in the previous three months, the highest such growth since November 2004. This follows growth of 0.3 per cent in the three months to May and compares with growth of 2.0 per cent at the same time in 2004.
Analysis of monthly figures shows that the total sales volume grew by 1.3 per cent between May and June, the highest single month growth since December 2003. This follows zero growth last month and 0.5 per cent in April. According to retailers the growth in June was driven by some department stores moving summer sales from July to June, a pick-up in sales of summer fashions and strong sales of sportswear. The total volume of sales in June was 1.6 per cent higher than in June 2004.
For the three months to June the unadjusted value of retail sales was 0.4 per cent higher than in the same period a year earlier, the lowest growth since comparable records began. Average weekly sales in June were £4.7 billion, 1.4 per cent higher than a year ago. The largest falls in sales values over the year were for household goods stores and department stores, with decreases of 4.0 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.
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