However, the MPC is expected to focus more on the upside risk to inflation emanating from the rand’s sharp slide in recent weeks and the threat of even further weakness in the months ahead given the combination of increased global risk aversion and the expected rise in US interest rates.
After a couple of months of weak growth, the figures showed sales were up 3.7% compared with last year.
Seasonally adjusted retail trade sales remained unchanged in the three months ended July 2015 compared with the previous three months.
The proportion of sales transacted online also continued to grow, with 12.2% of all retail spending taking place over the internet in August, compared to 11.5% in August 2014.
Retail sales volumes rose 0.2 percent on the month to show 3.7 percent growth on the year, having stalled in July and dipped in June in monthly terms, the Office for National Statistics said.
“Growth in overall volumes was dragged down by a 0.9% monthly drop in food sales”. August’s relatively cool and wet weather may have also played a role, particularly for sales of barbeque food. The same sector was up 1.9% compared with last year.
Sales of textiles, clothing and footwear jumped 2.3 percent in August and were up 1.9 percent from a year ago. Note that the late timing of the August Bank Holiday meant that sales over the holiday weekend were not captured in the ONS’ August survey.
Department stores and sellers of medical goods and toiletries, watches and jewellery, telecommunications apparatus and computers, and recreational goods recorded higher sales over July last year. Moreover, with prices in the sector continuing to decline, down 3.3% in August, consumers” discretionary spending power is still benefiting from “good’ deflation.