-Jul Retail Sales +0.3% m/m; +2.8% y/y; median -0.2% m/m; +1.4% y/y
-Jul Retail Sales ex fuel unch. m/m; 3.3% y/y; median -0.1% m/m;2.1% y/y
-Jun Retail Sales revised up sharply to 0.8% m/m from 0.1% m/m

LONDON (MNI) – Retail sales rose by more than expected in July and
a sharp upward revision to the June data suggests the downturn in the
second quarter was not quite as bad as first feared, figures from
National Statistics showed Thursday.

Taking into consideration the back revisions these figures are far
stronger than expected, although with sales only making up around 5% of
overall GDP they won’t have a great impact on the Q2 GDP figures. Nor is
it likely to change the view that the Bank of England could pump further
money into the economy to boost flagging growth.

Headline retail sales rose 0.3% on the month in July and were up
2.8% on the year, above the median for a monthly fall of 0.2% and
increase of 1.4% on the year.

Ex-fuel, which gives a better guide to the underlying strength on
the High Street, sales were unchanged on the month and up 3.3% on the
year. This was a little higher than the monthly median for a fall of
0.1% on the month and significantly above the yearly forecast of 2.1%.

Food store sales were up 0.4% on the month, while non-food sales
were down 0.5%. There were signifciant falls in clothing and footwear
and household goods stores of 1.8% and 1.5% on the month respectively,
following gains last month.

Department store sales rose 0.6% on the month while other stores
sales increased 0.8%. Non-store retailing and repair sales rose 1.4%.

Potentially more interesting than the latest month’s data were
massive revisions to the June figures. Headline sales were revised up to
0.8% on the month from an initially estimated 0.1%, while ex-fuel sales
rose 1.1% compared with the 0.3% reported last month.

Overall sales volumes are now estimated to have fallen by 0.3% on
the quarter in Q2, an upward revision from the previously reported 0.7%

Last month we wrote of poor weather killing off sales of barbeque
food, although food sales are now estimated to have risen 0.4% against
the earlier reported 0.7% fall.

National Statistics said that anecdotal evidence from retailers
suggested that the two days of the Olympics contained in the sample
period had no discernible impact on retail sales.

On a three monthly basis sales rose 0.9% compared with the previous
three months, the highest since January and sharply up from a fall of
0.4% last month, with the June data including the large April fall in

-London bureau: +44 20 7862 7491; email: puglow@marketnews.com

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