By Jonathan Davies
The volume of retail sales grew for the 28th month in a row in July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Sales were up 4.2% compared with July 2014 and marks the longest period of growth since before the financial crisis when sales were up in 31 consecutive months to May 2008.
On a quarterly basis, volume of sales was up 0.5% during the three month period. It was the 29th consecutive month in which three-month on three-month sales had grown, the longest period of growth since records began in June 1996.
The ONS said that the value of sales rose 1% in July, compared with July 2014, but fell 0.2% on June 2015. On average, £7.1 billion is spent in the retail industry every week.
But retailers are still battling falling prices. Including petrol prices, the ONS said retail prices fell 3% compared with July last year, the 13thReplica Miu Miu Wallets
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consecutive fall. Fuel prices were again the biggest contributor, however, reporting a 10.9% fall. Elsewhere, all types of retail stores except textiles, clothing and footwear reported falling prices.
And in-store retailers are still facing rising competition from their online equivalents. Online sales rose 13% compared with July 2014, but remained unchanged on June 2015. Online sales accounted for 12.6% of all retail sales made in July 2015.
Keith Richardson, Managing Director Retail Sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Consumers finally appear to have the wind in their sails and are using any money they save on essentials such as food and fuel, where prices continue to fall, to treat themselves with accessories such as jewellery, shoes and handbags.
“But summer does not last all year, and with a few clouds forming on the horizon, this could be as good as it gets for shoppers and retailers alike.”