The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed an upward revision of its June retail sales figures, with the month’s previously reported 0.1 per cent overall sales increase rising sharply to 0.8 per cent.
Such a drastic alteration is likely to have an effect on GDP figures over the second quarter, meaning that the overall economic outlook may not be as negative as previously feared.
Vicky Redwood, Chief UK Economist at Capital Economics, explained the ramifications of the change.
“June’s 0.1 per cent increase in overall sales was revised up sharply to a 0.8 per cent rise,” she said.
“This now looks more consistent with other evidence of a boost to spending from the Jubilee celebrations that month.
“The fall in sales in the second quarter overall was revised from 0.7 per cent to 0.3 per cent. Other things equal, this should add almost 0.1 per cent to GDP in the quarter.
“On top of the recent revisions to industrial production and construction output, Q2 GDP may have contracted by about 0.4 per cent, rather than the 0.7 per cent initially estimated.”
Annual store price inflation fell to 0.2 per cent over the month while the annual Consumer Price Index was boosted to 2.6 per cent.
UK retail volumes saw a 0.3 per cent monthly increase, though this was driven by petrol sales as excluding fuel sees sales remain flat compared with June’s figure.
Retail sales were up 2.8 per cent compared to July 2011 while online sales rocketed 14.2 per cent over the period to £505.1 million, accounting for 8.5 per cent of total retail spend excluding fuel.
While the Olympic Games began at the end of the month, meaning that any upshot from an increase in footfall would be minimal, the ONS noted that “feedback from retailers suggests that there has been no impact on sales from the Games in this trading period.”