Retail sales rose only slightly in July after two months of declining volumes. July is normally a bumper month.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that seasonally adjusted retail sales volumes rose 0.3 percent in July against the June figure. July 2002's sales volume was 4.5 percent higher than July 2001.
But this rate of increase is the slowest since January 2001, when sales increased by only 3.9 percent.