July rainfall hits retail sales

9th August 2023 | Jack Oliver

UK retail sales grew at a slower rate in July, as increased rainfall discouraged shoppers from hitting the high street.

Retail sales were up by 1.5% in July, down from a 2.3% increase recorded in July 2022, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG. This was below the three-month average growth of 3.5% and lower than the 12-month average increase of 3.6%.

Like-for-like retail sales were up by 1.8% in July, ahead of a 1.6% increase in the same month last year. However, this was a decrease on the three-month average increase of 3.3% and the 12-month average growth of 3.6%.

Over the three months to July, food sales increased by 8.4% on a total basis and 8.7% on a like-for-like basis, however non-food sales declined 0.5% on a total basis and fell by 0.8% on a like-for-like basis.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, said: “The slowing pace of retail price inflation fed through into slower sales this July. Spend was further depressed by the damp weather, which did no favours to sales of clothing, and other seasonal goods.”

“While consumer confidence is generally improving, it remains below longer term levels. And with last week’s rise in interest rates pushing mortgage rates up ever higher, the Government must get a handle on the economy, offering a solution to languishing GDP growth in a way that supports both households and businesses”, she added.

Last week, analysis firm Springboard said that wet weather had led to a fall in footfall in July for the first time in 14 years.


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