DIY and online defy gloom
RETAIL sales grew at their fastest for nine months in the year to June as warm weather encouraged demand for groceries and DIY products.
A CBI survey showed growth was also driven by online shopping, although carpet, furniture and clothing retailers saw a drop in volumes.
It follows official figures showing a 1.3 per cent rise in sales volumes in May from the previous month.
Economists say the Royal Wedding and the World Cup had provided a boost.
Economist at the CBI Anna Leach said: “Higher-than-average temperatures seem to have had a positive impact but underlying conditions for the sector remain challenging.”
Eric Leenders, managing director, personal finance at UK Finance, said: “There was modest growth in card spending, reflecting a boost to retail sales amid the good weather over the recent bank holidays and the royal wedding celebrations.
“However, the overall economic picture remains mixed, as household incomes continue to be squeezed. This may explain the growth of deposits held in instant access accounts, with consumers increasingly choosing to keep their money close to hand.”