UK retail sales down 0.1% in June

Retail sales volumes declined by 0.1% in June 2022 as rising prices forced families to cut back on purchases.

Last month’s decrease was smaller than the 0.8% drop recorded in May 2022 but continues a downward trajectory that reflects the impact of inflation on households’ spending.

Food sales were up 3.1% due to celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, this was the only sector to report an increase.

Non-food sales fell by 0.7%, with clothing stores (down 4.7%) and household goods stores (down 3.7%) hit particularly hard, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said.

Meanwhile, fuel sales dropped by 4.3% as average petrol prices went up by 18.1 pence per litre — the largest monthly rise on record — and diesel prices rose by 12.7 pence per litre.

Excluding automotive fuel, retail sales volumes actually rose by 0.4%.

Retail sales remain 2.2% above their pre-pandemic level but the broader trend is one of decline, explained Heather Bovill, ONS deputy director for surveys and economic indicators.

“Fuel sales fell back considerably with retailers reporting the record high prices at the pump hitting sales,” Bovill said.

“Clothing purchases dipped along with household goods, with retailers suggesting consumers cutting back on spending due to higher prices and concerns around affordability.”