July food sales show upward momentum

Food store sales value increased by 2.9% in July, compared to the same month last year, according to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures, published today as part of the ONS’ Retail Sales Index (RSI), highlighted a 0.9% rise in sales volumes in food outlets for the period 1-28 July 2012, in comparison to July 2011.

Average prices were estimated to have risen to 1.9% in the year to July 2012, which is the lowest since February 2010 (1.4%), and estimated average weekly sales for last month totalled £2.8bn. Internet food sales accounted for 2.4% of this figure (66.5m).

The ONS said trading during the Olympic Games for the month (27-28 July) had no impact on sales, according to feedback from retailers. 

General retailing seasonally adjusted sales volumes were up by 2.8% for the month, compared with July 2011, and rose 0.3% on June this year. Sales values were lifted by 3.1% for the same period.

The average weekly spend for general retailing last July was £6.7bn, rising from £6.6bn in June 2012 and £6.5bn 12 months ago.

In the four-week period of July 2012, non-seasonally adjusted value of spending in the retail sector was estimated to be £26.8bn. This shows an increase from the four weeks of July 2011 (£26.1bn), but a drop on the revised figure of £33.1bn in the five weeks of June 2012.

The RSI measures spending value and volume of retail sales using a sample of 5,000 retailers representing approximately 90% of all known retail activity in Great Britain. The sample contains 900 large retailers, hiring more than 100 employees or with an annual turnover more than £60m, as well as a random sample of smaller retailers.

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