Retail sales reported weak growth in the year to June, beating
expectations of a modest fall and lifting sales slightly above average for
the time of year. Meanwhile, orders placed on suppliers fell over the year
at a somewhat slower pace than in the previous month. Sales growth is
expected to pick up next month, but orders are expected to continue
falling although at a slightly slower pace.
Growth in the volume of internet sales slowed in the year to June, with
the survey balance falling below the long-run average. However, internet
sales growth is set to pick up strongly in July.
Within the retail sector, the picture was mixed. Grocers (the largest sub-sector) reported sales rebounding in the year to June, while sales growth also strengthened in the furniture & carpet sector. Robust growth was reported in hardware & DIY and non-store, but growth slowed in the clothing sector and sales fell in a number of other sectors.
Elsewhere, growth in sales volumes remained solid in both the wholesale and motor trades sector in the year to June, albeit at a slower pace. The latter is set to slow further in the year to July.