(Sharecast News) – UK retail sales pushed higher last month, official data showed on Friday, beating expectations.
According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales volumes were estimated to have risen by 0.7% month-to-month in June. That follows a 0.1% in increase in May, revised down from an initial estimate for a 0.3% rise.
Consensus had been for a 0.2% increase in June.
Increases were seen across all the main sectors apart from automotive fuels, which fell 0.3% following a 1.7% jump in May.
Non-food sales rose by 1%, compared to a 0.5% decline a month previously, with summer sales boosting footfall and volumes at department stores and furniture retailers in particular.
Food sales rose 0.7% after a 0.4% dip in May, helped by unusually warm weather and supermarket promotions.
Grant Fitzner, ONS chief economist, said: “Retail sales grew strongly, with food sales bouncing back from the effects of the extra bank holiday, partly helped by good weather, and department stores and furniture shops also having a strong month.
“However, these were partially offset by falls in fuel, garden centres and clothes shops.”
In the three months to June, retail sales volumes rose by 0.4% when compared to the three months to March.
Year-on-year, sales volumes were down 1%, although the ONS noted that it was the slowest rate of decline since the beginning of the Ukraine war. It was also an improvement on May’s 2.1% fall and above consensus, for a 1.6% drop.
Gabriella Dickens, senior UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “We expect sales volumes to rise further in the second half of this year, as real disposable incomes start to recover. Month-to-month increases in wages will outpace price rises in the third and fourth quarters, as energy prices fall back and the rate of increases in both food and core goods prices slows, in line with producer prices.”