Title: UK retail sales slip in June as consumers struggle with inflation
Jul 22, 2022 03:15AM ET
British retail sales fell in June as motorists slashed spending on record-expensive fuel and consumers cut back on shopping less than expected, data showed, although the trend remains weak as households struggle with rising inflation.
The Office for National Statistics reported on Friday that retail sales volume fell 0.1 percent less than expected in June. Reuters predicted a monthly drop of 0.3 percent.
After accounting for rising prices, retail sales fell slightly in June, and although they remain above their pre-pandemic level, the broader trend is down.
In the April-June period, sales volume fell 1.2%.
Excluding automotive fuels, June volumes rose 0.4% on a monthly basis compared with survey forecasts of a 0.4% decline.
Auto fuel sales fell 4.3%, the most since last October, when a trucker shortage sparked a wave of panic buying for gasoline and diesel.
May's monthly decline was estimated to have been more severe than originally expected, with a 0.8 percent drop from April compared with an initially reported 0.5 percent decline.
The British economy is feeling the strain of inflation, which is on track to reach double digits, largely driven by runaway fuel prices.
On August 4, the Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates for the sixth time since December, which could potentially put additional pressure on economic growth.
Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said Friday's data was influenced by the extra public holiday last month.
But even so, it is becoming increasingly clear that the cost-of-living crisis is at the heart of the steady decline in sales volumes in recent months. We believe a recession is just around the corner.
Earlier on Friday, a survey showed that consumer confidence remains at its lowest level since records began in 1974.