Retail sales in Britain rebound, boosted by Euro 2020 fans

Food and drink shopping for the Euro 2020 football championship boosted British retail sales in June after a sharp contraction in the previous month.

The volume of monthly retail sales in Great Britain rose 0.5 per cent between May and June, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday.

That was marginally better than the 0.4 per cent expansion forecast by economists polled by Reuters and it followed a sharp contraction in the previous month.

Line chart of Great Britain, 2018=100 showing Retail sales improve in June

The largest contribution to June’s increase came from food stores where sales volumes rose 4.2 per cent, which the ONS links to the men’s European football championship.

“June’s retail sales have picked up again following the dip seen last month, with the main driver coming from food and drink sales, boosted by football fans across Britain enjoying the Euros,” said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.

He added that, while not quite back to their pre-pandemic level, fuel sales rose again, as people travelled on the roads more.

Non-food stores however showed a 1.7 per cent decline in sales volumes, driven by falls from household goods and clothing retailers.

With stores open, most retail sectors reported a drop in the proportion of their online sales, which remained higher than before the pandemic suggesting a permanent shift online.

Compared with February 2020, overall retail sales were up 9.5 per cent.

Consumer confidence rose to pre-pandemic levels in July, the research company GfK said on Friday, as a jump in spending intentions offset deteriorating expectations for the economy.


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