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Retail sales point to growth

·         Retail sales volumes for August 2013: down 0.9% on the month; up 2.1% on the year

·         The August fall comes after a strong increase in July, and the trend in sales remains clearly upward, with an increase of 1.7% in the three months to August, compared with the previous three months

·         Annual inflation in the retail sector slowed from 1.8% in July 2013 to 1.6% in August 2013

Commenting on the retail sales figures for August 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“Despite the fall in August, the long-term trend in retail sales is positive. We still expect GDP growth in the third quarter of 2013, although this may be slightly weaker than the 0.7% recorded in Q2. The fall in inflation in the retail sector seen this month is also an important ingredient in sustaining the economic recovery, as it will help to maintain price stability.

“While we would like to see a balanced recovery with a sizable contribution from net exports and investment, it is important to focus on the positives. If we can maintain business confidence then a more balanced recovery will follow. However this also requires further action from government, and we expect to see a raft of growth measures announced in the Autumn Statement later this year.”