UK retail sales increase by 1.4% month-on-month in July

UK retail sales increased by 5.9% year-on-year in July, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The main contribution came from non-food stores.

Surprisingly, sales were up 1.4% on June, despite worries that the Brexit vote would affect shoppers. In June, UK retail sales suffered their sharpest monthly fall in six months, although stores said this was down to bad weather, rather than Brexit woes.

it now appears that shoppers haven’t let the vote to leave the EU affect their spending. This was confirmed by figures from the the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, released yesterday, which showed that online sales grew in July by 19% year-on-year, recording a 20-month high for the index.

ONS said the main contribution for the month-on-month increase seen in July also came from non-food stores. Average store prices fell by 2.0% in July 2016 compared with July 2015. Compared with June 2016, there was a fall of 0.8%.

The ONS also found that the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 3.6% compared with July 2015 and 1.6% compared with June 2016. The amount spent online rose by 16.7% compared with July 2015, and increased by 1.2% compared with June 2016.

Joe Grice, the chief economic adviser at the ONS, said: “These are strong numbers showing a pronounced increase in sales compared with last July. Better weather this year could be a major factor with sales of clothing and footwear doing particularly well. There is also anecdotal evidence from respondents suggesting the weaker pound has encouraged overseas visitors to spend. Department stores and specialist retailers like jewellers are among those reporting a good month.”

Oxford Street London