Fall in high street sales in August

Due to an unhealthy economy, buyers concentrated on only essential buying in August, which led to a fall in consumer spending during the month.

Sales values were seen plunging 0.1% in U. K. on a like-for-like (same number of shops) basis, compared to a year earlier - when sales had also been passive, hit by very wet weather. Apart from this, except for food, sales for everything else saw a downfall in August as against the July figures.

"The stronger figures of June and July haven't been sustained. It's clear the deceptively good sales growth of those months was due to summer sun and price cuts - not any major revival in how customers are feeling," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium.

He explained that the spending that they had presently was all about value and essentials.

The month of August also saw a plunge in on-line sales, which had been outperforming other areas.

"The disappointing BRC report for August focuses attention on the fact that consumers continue to face serious obstacles that are likely to limit spending for some time to come," said Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight.

He concluded that sharply higher and rising unemployment, low earnings growth and heightened debt levels were included in the analysis.