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U.K. Retail Sales Edged Lower in June as Fuel Prices Hit Demand

Economic Indicators Jul 22, 2022 02:28AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- U.K. retail sales volumes edged down in June as the high price of fuel damped demand, while the Queen's Platinum Jubilee boosted food and drink sales. 

Sales fell 0.1% in June, a second straight drop after falling 0.8% in May, and were down 5.8% from a year earlier. However, the monthly decline wasn't as steep as the 0.3% feared by economists ahead of time.

Automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 4.3%, the ONS noted that the fall was linked to record-high gasoline and diesel prices hitting the amount of fuel bought.

By contrast, core retail sales, which exclude fuel, rose 0.4% in inflation-adjusted terms on the month. The effect of the Jubilee was evident in a 3.1% rise in food sales.

But there was also evidence of sustained pressure on spending from inflation and the tax increases that have squeezed consumer disposable incomes hard since April. Clothing sales volumes fell 4.7%, while sales of household goods, including big-ticket items such as furniture, were down 3.7%.

The data also suggested a further reversion to pre-pandemic patterns of spending, with online sales falling to their lowest share of total spending since March 2020 at 25.3%. At the height of the pandemic, when many physical stores were shut due to public health measures, that share had peaked at over 37%.

U.K. Retail Sales Edged Lower in June as Fuel Prices Hit Demand
 

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