Commenting on the ONS Retail Sales Index for August, Rachel Lund, head of retail insight and analytics at the BRC said:?”Echoing BRC figures released earlier this month, August?s bout of Autumnal weather?put a spring in the step of seasonal purchases as shoppers invested in winter wardrobes and furnishing home interiors.
“The strength of today?s figure will add to the growing expectation of an earlier interest rate rise. However, retail sales figures are notoriously volatile and with a number of factors making reliable seasonal adjustment nigh on impossible, the health of consumer spending should be assessed with caution.
“Pressures on consumers? budgets remain and with lending at levels seen in the run-up to the last crisis, downside risks still remain. Moreover, a no-deal outcome in trade negotiations with the EU could leave consumers facing price increases of up to 30 per cent on some products, which will do substantial damage to growth in sales volumes.”