Sales by retailers in Great Britain directly to end consumers, including spending on goods (in store and online) (Retail Sales Index) and spending on services (Index of Services). The industry as a whole is used as an indicator of how the wider economy is performing and the strength of consumer spending.
In August 2016, the quantity bought (volume) of retail sales is estimated to have increased by 6.2% compared with August 2015; all store types except textile, clothing and footwear, and household goods showed growth with the main contribution coming from food stores.
The quantity bought decreased by 0.2% compared with July 2016; the largest contribution to the decrease came from non-food stores which was offset by increases in non-store retailing, predominantly food stores and petrol stations.
The underlying pattern in the retail sector is still one of growth with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 1.6%.