UK Retail Sales Slip In June As Consumers Struggle With Inflation.

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British retail sales edged down in June as drivers cut back on record-priced fuel, with consumers reducing shopping less than expected.

Retail sales volumes fell by a smaller-than-expected 0.1% from May, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3% monthly fall. After taking account of rising prices, retail sales fell slightly in June and although they remain above their pre-pandemic level; the broader trend is one of decline,” Heather Bovill, an ONS statistician, said.

In the April-June period sales volumes were down by 1.2%. Excluding automotive fuel, volumes in June rose by 0.4% on the month. Automotive fuel sales volumes fell by 4.3%, the biggest drop since October last year. A monthly fall in May was estimated to have been more severe than originally thought; showing a drop of 0.8% from April compared with an initially reported decline of 0.5%.

Britain’s economy is feeling the strain of inflation which is on course to hit double digits by the high fuel prices. The Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates for the sixth time since December on Aug. 4, potentially adding to the drag on economic growth.
Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics, said Friday’s data was by an extra public holiday last month.

“But even so, it is becoming clearer that the cost of living crisis is behind the steady decline in sales volumes in recent months,” Dales said. “We think a recession is just around the corner.”
A survey showed consumer confidence, remained at its lowest since records began in 1974.

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