UK retail sales rise by just 0.3% in July

Food and household goods were the only sectors to see volume sales go up. The volume of UK retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in July, boosted by a 1.5 per cent increase in food sales, and shop price inflation saw values soar, latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

The ONS said volume sales across all sectors except food and household goods stores were down for the month. However the value of sales, excluding motor fuel, in July rose 4.3 per cent year-on-year.

Separate ONS figures published earlier this week had shown consumer price inflation was 2.6 per cent over the year to July, down from a peak of 2.9 per cent in May though still outstripping wage growth.

Food sales in July were up 1.5 per cent in volume terms and 2.0 in value terms an household goods stores was up 0.9 per cent in volume and 1.3 per cent in value.

The ONS said: “Since nearly 40 pence of every pound is spent in food stores, the weighted contribution for food offsets the declines seen in other sectors”.

Non-food was down 0.1 per cent in volume and 0.4 per cent in value and textile, clothing and footwear was down 0.5 per cent in volume and 0.9 per cent in value.

Fuel sales were down 1.1 per cent in volume and 2.2 per cent in value. The value of retail sales rose 4.6 per cent in the three months to July on a year earlier and by 0.9 per cent quarter on quarter.b The total value of sales, including fuel, were up 4.1 per cent in July 2016 and in the three months to July the value of total sales was up 4.7 per cent on the same period a year ago.

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