Retail sales fell 0.1% in June 2022, less than experts had expected, but continuing a downward trajectory that reflects an economy struggling with record food and fuel prices.
Non-food stores, such as clothing and household goods, which fell 4.7% and 3.7% respectively, were particularly hard hit, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
Some had hoped the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee would give stores a major boost.
Where the Jubilee had a positive impact was in food, which saw sales volumes jump 3.1%, with retailers confirming the rise in sales was due to the celebrations.
But it is the only sector to have recorded an increase.
Retailers said they had seen declining volumes sold in recent months due to rising food prices and the cost of living crisis, the ONS said.
And in June, higher food sales were clearly offset by lower fuel sales due to exorbitant prices.
In fact, the cost of petrol and diesel has weighed on household spending so much that if motor fuel is excluded from the ONS sales figures in June, sales volume actually increased by 0 .4% compared to the previous month.
But as things stand, fuel sales fell 4.3% as more consumers avoided the gas station.
“After factoring in higher prices, retail sales fell slightly in June and although they remain above pre-pandemic levels, the overall trend is down,” Heather said. Bovill, ONS Deputy Director for Economic Surveys and Indicators.
After a slump in May, food sales have picked up due to Jubilee celebrations, Ms Bovill said.
“Clothing purchases fell along with household goods, with retailers suggesting consumers cut spending amid rising prices and affordability concerns,” she added.
While sales volumes were up 2.2% from their pre-coronavirus levels from February 2020, they were down from June 2021 volumes, when buyers triggered pent-up demand after the end of the closings.
“The cost of living crisis caused by record inflation continues to hurt consumer confidence and stifle household spending,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
“Discretionary spending and particularly large purchases have been postponed as consumers become increasingly concerned about the future.”
Recent BRC industry data shows retail sales volumes have fallen at a pace “unseen since the depths of the pandemic”, reflecting the third consecutive monthly decline as inflation eats away at consumers’ purchasing power. households.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the value of total sales was 1% lower in June than a year ago.
This followed a 1.1% drop in May.
Sales on a like-for-like basis, which corrects for changes in surface area, fell by 1.3%.
However, the figures are not adjusted for inflation, which the BRC said was 3.1% among its members – the highest since 2008 when the Cost of life the crisis is accelerating.
The official consumer price index measures the inflation faced by consumers A 9.1% high in 40 years – mainly driven by energy and fuel costs.