ONS reveals big rise in June retail sales

| July 24, 2009 | 0 Comments

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shoppers came back to the High Street in their droves in June with sales up 1.2% from the previous month.

The heatwave and early summer sales during the month boosted clothing purchases and exceeded analysts expectations who were expecting a 0.3% rise after sales had declined 0.9% in May.

The annual increase was 2.9% after posting a year-on-year drop of 2% in May.

Sales in textile, clothing and footwear stores rose by 4.7% during the month and were up 11.3% from a year ago.

However, the ONS said , big-ticket items such as homewares and furniture sales remained difficult.

The better-than-expected figures have led many to believe that the UK is now over the worst of the recession.

GDP figures due to be released later today are expected to show that the economy contracted by 0.3% in the three months to June.

While it will be the fifth quarterly decline, experts predict the pace of decline will slow.

Meanwhile, returning to the retail sales figures, analysts still say UK households will continue to struggle.

Colin Ellis at Daiwa Securities comments: “Nobody should take too much comfort from the figures - household retrenchment has a way to run yet, especially with unemployment rising.”

Unemployment in the UK has now reached 2.38 million - the highest since 1995, while the unemployment rate is up to 7.6% - the highest in over a decade.

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