Retail sales rose 5% in June

Total UK retail sales climbed by almost five per cent in the five weeks to 1 July, new research has found.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) put the rise – against a one per cent decline in the same period in 2022 and ahead of the 12-month growth average of four per cent – down to the recent hot weather prompting purchases of “summer essentials”.

“Sun-seekers headed to their favourite retailers to buy swimwear and beach towels, and outdoor games, garden furniture and barbecue food were boosted as families came together to celebrate Father’s Day,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC.

But she added that people were “much more cautious” about big-ticket purchases like furniture and technology equipment throughout the period.

The BRC also found that despite continued food price inflation, food sales in June increased 9.8 per cent, above the 12-month total growth average of 7.7 per cent.

Sainsbury’s recently recorded sales growth of 10 per cent amid suggestions from Bank of England (BoE) governor Andrew Bailey that some retailers may be overcharging customers.

In an interview with the BBC, Bailey recently said the central bank’s position was that it had to act now to bring down inflation or risk further pain from high interest rates in the future.

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