U.K. retail sales rose more than forecast in July, driven by the biggest jump in purchases of food in almost two years.
The volume of goods sold increased 0.3 percent, just ahead of the 0.2 percent gain predicted by economists, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. The increase in June was revised down to 0.3 percent from 0.6 percent, though the total for the second quarter was unrevised.
Sales in July were largely driven by food, and figures covering the past three months show how pressure on consumers from faster inflation is weighing on retailers. Annual growth in the quarter through July was 1.8 percent, the weakest in almost four years. Price increases have accelerated in the past year largely because of the pound’s decline since the Brexit vote.