Year-on-year estimates for August 2013 showed that the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.1%. This continues the underlying pattern of growth seen since April 2013.
On the month, the picture was one of contraction. Following strong growth of 1.1% in July 2013, the quantity bought in the retail sector fell by 0.9% in August 2013. Despite this fall the level of goods bought remained high.
The main source of downward pressure came from the food sector (-2.7%), where feedback suggested that sales were back to a more normal level for this time of year. This followed a strong performance in the previous month (2.7%) when sales were boosted from the hot weather.
The prices of goods sold in the retail industry slowed from an annual increase of 1.8% in July 2013 to 1.6% in August 2013. Consistent with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the automotive fuel sector provided the largest contribution to this change with the prices of goods sold in this sector increasing by 1.5% compared with 2.6% in July 2013.
The main source of upward pressure to year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry came from the non-store retailing sector which includes retail businesses selling predominantly online, through mail order, or via stalls and markets.
From January 2013, the amount spent and quantity bought in the non-store retailing sector, have shown continued strength. The exceptionally high growth in August 2013 compared with 2012 was largely due to the August 2012 figure where, feedback suggests, sales suffered as consumers watched the Olympics and Paralympics.