Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Retail sales drop takes economists by surprise

By Holly Williams

Published 24/07/2015

Upbeat: economist Howard Archer
Upbeat: economist Howard Archer

Retailers suffered an unexpected drop in sales last month as shoppers bought less household goods, food and petrol, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said retail sales fell 0.2% between May and June, confounding forecasts for a rise of 0.4%, while the annual rate of growth slowed to 4%.

This marked the slowest annual growth since last September.

The ONS said that the drops were seen across petrol stations, food stores and shops selling household goods.

But it added that sales by volume were still up by 0.7% overall quarter-on-quarter in the three months to the end of June.

Economists said June's drop was a surprise, but believe robust underlying consumer spending should help shore up growth.

Paul Hollingsworth at Capital Economics said: "The weaker tone of June's retail sales figures does not alter the big picture that the consumer recovery remains in full swing."

Meanwhile, Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said that despite the fall in sales last month, "consumer spending made a healthy contribution to GDP growth".

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph