The Straits Times
Published on Sep 20, 2012

London Olympics fail to boost British official retail sales


LONDON (AFP) - British retailers failed to win a major boost from the London Olympic Games, official data showed on Thursday, with online sales slumping despite Britons staying at home to watch the sporting spectacle.

Sales volumes fell 0.2 per cent in August compared with July, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. That tallied with market expectations, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

The ONS added that sales in August grew 2.7 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. That was less than forecasts for a 2.9 per cent gain.

However, non-store retail sales - which is mostly online business but also includes mail order - tumbled by 6.7 per cent in August. That was the biggest monthly drop since December 2007.