Retail sales rise for fourth month as economy shows signs of recovery

Households continued to splash out last month as the economy showed signs of recovery after lockdown.

Retail sales rose by 0.8 per cent in August, according to the Office for National Statistics, putting them 4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.

It was the fourth month of rising sales in a row – boosted by demand for DIY products and other household goods.

Retail sales rose by 0.8 per cent in August, according to the Office for National Statistics, putting them 4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels

Retail sales rose by 0.8 per cent in August, according to the Office for National Statistics, putting them 4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels

Retail sales rose by 0.8 per cent in August, according to the Office for National Statistics, putting them 4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels 

But Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: ‘Overall, the switch to greater online sales means the High Street remains under pressure.’

The ONS report showed that online sales are 46.8 per cent up since February.

There has also been strong demand for household goods – up 9.9 per cent since February – as families carried out home improvements.

With fresh restrictions across England being considered again, industry figures yesterday warned they could be in for more pain.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said retailers were in ‘a period of fragile recovery’.

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