UK retail sales see resurgence in June, boosted by Euros

UK retail sales up by 0.5% month-on-month

Retail sales jumped in June, as football fans eat and drank their way through the Euro 2020 football championship, following a slump in May.

The Office for National Statistics revealed on Friday that month-on-month retail sales in the UK rose by 0.5% between May and June.

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The figure is 0.1% higher than the expansion expected by economists, according to a poll by Reuters.

Sales at food stores, which saw increases of 4.2%, were the biggest contributor to June’s figures. The ONS also said that they were directly linked to the Euro 2020 football championship, in which England reached the final but fell short at the final hurdle.

“June’s retail sales have picked up again following the dip seen last month, with the main driver coming from food and drink sales, boosted by football fans across Britain enjoying the Euros,” said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.

Danni Hewson AJ Bell financial analyst, commented on the latest retail figures:

“The crisp aisle in my local supermarket told the tale writ large in the latest UK retail figures; the day England trounced Germany the shelves looked like they’d been ravaged by nacho-loving hordes. The surge in instore food sales helped give a nice little lift to the sector which had seen a fall-back last month as consumers flocked back to bars and restaurants.”

Data also revealed that spending on home improvement products has slowed down, as non-food shop sales falling by 1.7% in June.

On the other hand, automotive sales rose, as workers increasingly need to find a way to get in to the office, while other are travelling within the UK for the holidays.

“With life finding its new normal more people were filling up their vehicles either for the commute or for a pleasure jaunt, but salesare still down on pre-pandemic levels with hybrid working expected to keep a lid on the number of times drivers need to go back to the pumps,” said Hewson.

“What these figures do share with us is the fact that people are spending and they’re embracing every new opportunity that comes their way. Novelty, excitement, opportunity, all key factors after months of constraints. Whether new freedoms will tempt more people out or push people to stay away from busy indoor spaces is a difficult question to answer and savings can only be spent once.”

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