Total retail sales in the UK have grown by 4.1% in August 2023, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

The figure is higher than the three-month average growth of 3.6% and is in line with the 12-month average growth of 4.1%.

Over the three months to August, food sales increased 8.2% on a total basis and are above the 12-month average growth of 8.0%.

Non-food sales for the three months were down by 0.2% on a total basis and are lower than the 12-month average growth of 0.9%.

During this period, in-store non-food sales were up 1.3% on a total basis but are below the 12-month average growth of 3.6%.

Meanwhile, online non-food sales fell by 1.7% in August 2023 versus a decline of 6.1% in the same period a year ago.

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By GlobalData

During the month, the proportion of non-food items purchased online dropped to 34.1% from 34.7% in the same period last year.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retail sales in August improved, particularly on July’s poor performance. Sale of non-food products had their best month since February, particularly for health and beauty products as retailers continued to invest in new, exciting brands and customers splurged on self-care.

“The sales figures reflected the improvement in consumer confidence in August and retailers hope this general upward trend will carry on. Not all areas benefitted, clothing and footwear saw weaker growth as families held back spending on children’s uniforms and other back-to-school goods until the last minute.

“Easing inflation will certainly be welcomed by consumers, but as the rate of price rises falls, so will the extra spending needed by consumers. As a result, sales growth may fall in the coming months, even if volume growth does not.”