Retail sales volumes continue to grow briskly

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The volume of goods sold in the UK's shops, stores and supermarkets continues to grow, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Retail sales in June rose by 0.1% from May, leaving them 3.6% higher than a year ago.

The sales increase in the second quarter, at 1.6%, was the largest for any calendar quarter for 10 years.

The price of goods sold fell by 0.7% in May, leaving the price of retail goods the same as in June last year.

Sales have been on a steady rising trend since the end of the last recession in 2009, and have been particularly strong since the start of 2013.

This reflects the pick up in the wider economy, with fewer people unemployed and a big increase in the total population and the number of people in jobs.

David Tinsley, an economist at the bank BNP Paribas, said there was a "relatively firm" underlying trend in the figures.

Commenting on the volume of sales in the second quarter, up 1.9% excluding fuel and 1.6% including it, he said:

"This is much stronger than seen in the first quarter this year and is the strongest over the recovery so far."

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