Health and beauty spending boosts August shop sales
By Noor Nanji
Business reporter, BBC News
Retail sales rose in August as customers "splurged on self-care", new figures suggest.
Sales of non-food items had their best month since February, helped by higher spending on health and beauty, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.
However, clothing and footwear saw weaker growth.
One reason for that was families leaving it to the last minute to buy school uniforms, the BRC said.
Taken as a whole, the value of retail salesincreased by 4.1% in August, compared to a year earlier.
"The sales figures reflected the improvement in consumer confidence in August, and retailers hope this general upwards trend will carry on," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said.
However, as prices were still rising at annual rate of at 6.8% in July, the BRC said the rise in the value of goods sold, actually masked a likely drop in the volume of goods sold.
Consumers are buying fewer items, but thanks to inflation they are spending more.