After a little improvement in June, the decline in retail sales accelerated in July, falling over the year earlier by 5.6% according to provisional figures, from a fall of 2.2% in June.
The biggest decline was in electrical goods and furniture, down 17.4%, followed by computer equipment and books, down 10.1%.
In the first seven months of 2012, retail sales volumes are provisionally estimated to have fallen by 3.2% compared with the corresponding period of 2011.
Retail sales values, meanwhile, are provisionally estimated to have fallen by 2.9% over the same period of 2011.
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