Retail sales fall at fastest rate for two decades

| July 24, 2008 | 0 Comments

Official figures have revealed that UK retail sales fell 3.9% in June - this represents the largest monthly fall since records began in 1986.

An unexpected 3.6% increase was announced in May, therefore, a fall of just 2.5% was forecasted by analysts for June due to consumers cutting back as they struggle with rising fuel and food costs.

The annual growth rate is 2.2 per cent while sales in the three months to June were up 0.6% on the previous three months.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), trading in food stores fell by 3.6% - the largest fall in over two decades, while sales in predominantly non-food stores also noted a steep drop of 4.5%.

The good weather experienced in May meant that shops enjoyed an unexpected sales boost, with clothing being a good seller.

The steep decline in sales during June pushed the value of the pound down as speculation mounted that UK interest rates would be cut.

The non-store retailing and repair sector saw sales increase by 6.5%, suggest that people are mending their existing products rather than purchasing new replacements.

Household goods sales recorded their biggest monthly fall in June since 1991, while textile, clothing and footwear sales fell at their sharpest monthly rate since 2002. These figures indicate that consumers are cutting back on non-essential items.


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