Retail sales grow despite squeeze

Last month saw an improvement in the country's retail sales, new research shows, despite the continued financial squeeze experienced by shoppers.

Although many people are having to think carefully about their approach to budgeting in the current economic climate, British Retail Consortium (BRC) statistics reveal that July saw a 0.6% rise in like-for-like sales by value compared with the situation 12 months ago.

Extended clearance sales may have led to this increase, the consortium indicated.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said difficult conditions are still facing UK retailers.

He added: "When you take into consideration inflation and January's increase in VAT, 2.5% growth effectively means people are buying fewer goods."

Both limited wage growth and high inflation levels have hit the pockets of UK consumers in recent months, which may have forced some to reconsider their spending habits.

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