Figures it released showed that while there was strong growth of 1.1 percent in July, the retail sector fell by 0.9 percent in August. However, it pointed out, the level of goods bought on the high street remained, er, high.
The food sector fell by -2.7 percent for the month – a normalisation because food sales were boosted in July 2013 because of the clement, that is to say, hot weather.
Year on year, sales whether in the high street, online, in stalls or the covered market grew by 2.1 percent. The ONS attributes last year’s poor sales in Augusts by suggesting that the world+dog was watching the Olympics.
The ONS classifies the sector as food stores, non food stores, mail order and market stalls and petrol stations.
For every pound spent in August 2013, 42 percent (pence) was spent on food; 41 percent in non food stores; six percent in markets and the like; and 11 percent in petrol stations.