British retail sales grew faster than expected in June despite continued high inflation, thanks to unusually hot weather and a rebound in food sales after King Charles’ coronation disrupted spending in May, official figures showed on Friday.
While inflation at nearly 8% – the highest of any large economy – remains a challenge for many households, some economists say a fall in energy prices from July 1 will give consumers more disposable income.
Sales volumes in June were 0.7% higher than in May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, a bigger increase than the 0.2% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.
Compared with a year earlier, sales were 1.0% lower, beating forecasts for a 1.5% decline.
As well as the bounce-back in food sales, department stores and furniture shops also had a strong month, the ONS said.
During May, households spent less at food retailers, possibly because they were eating out more at restaurants due to an extra public holiday to mark King Charles’ coronation.
Last month was the hottest June in Britain in modern records, boosting supermarkets and department stores. Only clothing and footwear stores saw lower sales last month.