UK retail sales fall in June amid cost-of-living crisis

by | Jul 22, 2022

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UK retail sales fell in June amid the cost-of-living crisis, according to figures released on Friday by the Office for National Statistics.

Sales dipped 0.1% on the month following a revised 0.8% fall in May and versus expectations for a 0.3% decline.

Retail sales volumes were 2.2% above their pre-Covid February 2020 levels, but down over the past year.

The figures showed that the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee failed to give shops the boost many had expected. While food sales volumes rose by 3.1% thanks to the celebrations, non-food store sales fell 0.7% over the month. Clothing store sales were down 4.7%, while household goods sales declined 3.7%.

Meanwhile, automotive fuel sales volumes fell 4.3% amid record high prices.

ONS statistician Heather Bovill said: “After taking account of rising prices, retail sales fell slightly in June and although they remain above their pre-pandemic level, the broader trend is one of decline.”

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The cost-of-living crunch caused by record inflation continue to damage consumer confidence and stifle household spending. Discretionary spending and particularly bigger purchases were put off as consumers become increasingly concerned about the future. As a result, furniture sales and white goods were particularly hard hit, while food sales held up a little better.

“Retailers are squeezed between higher costs and weaker demand, resulting in the most challenging trading period since the start of the pandemic.”

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