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ONS Retail Sales June 2020

Retail sales continued to rebound in June, as the reopening of non-essential shops mid-month released pent up demand.

The latest figures from the ONS bring the overall volume of retail sales back to a similar level to where they were pre-lockdown. However, the ONS cautioned of the "mixed picture" among different store types, with non-food stores still below February levels despite a partial recovery.

Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel) increased by 1.5% year-on-year in June – a significant improvement on the 9.0% decline in the previous month and the record 18.8% decline in April. In volume terms, this marked a 1.7% increase in June on last year.

Month-on-month, the increases were 13.1% by value and 13.5% by volume respectively, leading to a significant bounce back.

Smoothing out the recent volatility, the three-month on three-month rate in June saw sales volumes decline by 6.6% excluding fuel, and down 9.5% including fuel.

Retail sales (volume, seasonally adjusted) – 3-months on previous 3-months

Source: ONS

Online continued to rocket compared to last year. Online sales (non-seasonally adjusted, excluding automotive fuel) were up by 73.4% year-on-year in June to account for 31.2% of overall retail sales in May – slightly below the record 32.8% in May. Consumers continue to spend online while social distancing is in place, and the reopening of all shops in England from 15 June benefited click-and-collect propositions.

The retail sales deflator (a measure of inflation specific to retail) continued to edge up by 0.1% (excluding fuel) in the year to June, and continued to decline by 1.5% when including fuel. Non-Food stores faced further deflation at -0.4% year-on-year, from -1.2% a month earlier. Food stores, however, saw inflation inch up by 1.0% year-on-year, from 1.3% in the previous month.

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