Retailers continued their slow recovery during August, as sales volumes increased by 0.8% compared with July, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The figures show August was the fourth consecutive month of growth, also showing a 4% increase compared with February, before the country faced the full impact of the pandemic.
Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow said: “Retail sales continued to grow, further surpassing their pre-pandemic level.
“Sales of household goods thrived as the demand for home improvement continued and, despite a dip this month, online sales remained high.
“However, clothing stores continued to struggle with sales still well below their February level. Overall, the switch to greater online sales means the high street remains under pressure.”
The figures for August also show:
- Retail sales values increased 0.7% compared with July and 2.5% compared with February
- Non-store retailing volumes were 38.9% above February and clothing stores were still 15.9% below February’s pre-pandemic levels
- Spending for home improvements increased, with sales volumes in household goods stores up by 9.9% compared with February
- Online retail sales fell by 2.5% compared with July, but strong growth seen during the pandemic means sales were still 46.8% higher than in February