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Financial News: UK Retail Sales Drop In June, Quarterly Growth

UK Retail Sales Drop In June, Quarterly Growth Fastest Since 2015

07/19/2018 - 05:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK retail sales unexpectedly declined in June, but the quarterly growth rate was the fastest since 2015, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday.

Retail sales dropped 0.5 percent from the previous month, while economists' were looking for a 0.2 percent increase. The decline came after a two months of strong growth. In May, sales rose 1.4 percent.

Continued growth in food sales was offset by declining spending in many other shops as consumers stayed away from stores and instead enjoyed the World Cup and the heatwave, ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy said.

In the three months to June, sales rose 2.1 percent, marking the fastest growth since February 2015.

Food stores led the strong growth, up 2.2 percent, which was the biggest since May 2001.

Continued good weather and World Cup celebrations had encouraged food and drink sales, the ONS said citing feedback from supermarkets.

On a year-on-year basis, retail sales grew 3 percent in June after 4.5 percent rise in May. Economists had forecast 3.5 percent growth.

Excluding fuel, retail sales fell 0.6 percent monthly in June following 1.4 percent gain in May. Economists had predicted 0.2 percent gain.

Compared to a year ago, retail sales ex-fuel rose 2.9 percent in June after 4.1 percent climb in the previous month. Economists had expected a 3.7 percent increase.

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