Consumers splashing out on new clothes helped push up overall retail sales in the year to July, but sales volumes remained flat for grocers for the second consecutive month, according to the CBI’s Distributive Trades Survey.
The survey of 117 firms showed that year-on-year growth in the volume of retail sales fell back slightly from June, after May’s strong rally. Growth is expected to slow further next month, but sales volumes are broadly average for the time of year and are expected to remain so in August.
Sales volumes in the wholesaling sector rose strongly in the year to July, exceeding expectations and with further strong growth expected next month.
Barry Williams, CBI Distributive Trades Chairman and Asda’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “Summer trading is traditionally slower across the retail sector but warm weather can often provide a welcome boost, as we saw towards the end of June and the beginning of this month.
“Despite the upbeat outlook for the UK economy, retailers are still finding conditions challenging and it’s certainly something every shopkeeper will need to keep an eye on.
“Meanwhile, the recovery in wage growth should help support growth further down the line.”