Garden centre sales up 20 per cent for week to August 18

Garden furniture sales rose again in the week to 18 August compared to the same week in 2012, according to figures supplied to Horticulture Week.

Overall sales were up 20 per cent on 2012 for the week.

Books were up eight per cent, aquatics were up six per cent, clothing was up 30 per cent, craft was down four per cent, food was up 10 per cent, furniture was up 125 per cent, sundries were up 17 per cent, gifts were up 14 per cent, houseplants were up 12 per cent, outdoor plants were up 22 per cent and cateringw as up 18 per cent.

The headline Markit Household Finance Index (HFI) – which measures households’ overall perceptions of financial wellbeing has produced August data highlighting generally improving trends among UK consumers, with access to unsecured credit close to stabilisation and cash availability falling at the slowest pace for more than three years.

This in turn contributed to a solid rise in household spending during August. Living costs were perceived to have increased at a weaker rate than in July, and the year-ahead inflation outlook moderated to its lowest since May.

At 40.8 in August, the latest reading was below the neutral 50.0 value but well above the average since the survey began in February 2009 (37.8).

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