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Retail Economics Response: BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor June 2016

Retail sales were subdued in June with total sales up 0.2 per cent, year-on-year, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. On a like-for-like basis sales fell by 0.5 per cent which reversed some of the declines experienced in the last quarter.

Year-to-date, total sales have risen 0.9 per cent, against 1.9 per cent at the same stage in 2015 and 2.3 per cent in 2014.

Sales growth was driven by Furniture, Home Accessories and Jewellery and Watches. Furniture sales were boosted by seasonal distortions with the half-term falling in the June trading period this year and in May last year. Clothing fell to the bottom of the rankings table once again showing the poorest sales growth across the categories with both total and like-for-like sales declining on the previous year.

Food sales fell in June but the three-month average improved to 0.8 per cent, the strongest since March 2015. In volume terms, the 3-month average growth rose to 1.1 per cent, its highest level since May 2015.

Chart 1

Source: BRC

Online Non-Food sales reported a rise of 9.0 per cent in June. This time last year online sales had risen 17.6 per cent. Overall, this is below the 3-month and 12-month average.

While it is still too early to assess the impact of the EU Referendum vote, these figures do show that consumers felt increasingly nervous as the Referendum approached. Next month’s reading, which will be the first survey data produced post-Brexit, will provide interesting reading.

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