Retail Economics Response: ONS Retail Sales –June 2019

Retail sales (value, non-seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel) rose by 4.0% year-on-year in June 2019, according to the latest figures from the ONS. This is up on the 1.9% rise in the previous month, but slightly down on the 4.5% rise in June 2018.

In volume terms, retail sales rose by 3.6% on last year (seasonally adjusted, excluding fuel). On a month-on-month basis, volumes rose by 0.9%.

A more accurate reflection of underlying trends, shown by the three-month on three-month growth, reported a 0.7% increase in sales volumes in the three months to June.

Average store prices including fuel increased by 0.6% on the year (excluding fuel, up by 0.6%), marking an improvement on the 0.4% rise (0.1%) in the previous month. Average prices in food stores increased by 1.5% year-on-year in June. Non-Food store prices have declined since the start of the year and dipped by 0.1% year-on-year in the month.

Online sales (non-seasonally adjusted, excluding automotive fuel) increased by a relatively subdued 7.8% year-on-year, softening on the double digit rises since throughout 2018. However, these figures are subject to revisions. Online sales accounted for approximately 18.2% of all retail spending.

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

Source: ONS

ONS data is notably more upbeat than the figures released by BRC-KPMG earlier in the month, which reported its weakest June since records began in 1995 with total sales down by 1.3% year-on-year.

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