UK retail sales have enjoyed the strongest month of growth for 18 months in June 2015, with sales up 1.8% on a like-for-like basis from June 2014, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
On a total basis, sales were up 2.9% against a 0.6% rise in June 2014. This is the strongest growth since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions and compares with a 12-month average of 1.6%.
Jewellery and watch sales also performed strongly in June, with the category achieving second position on a three-month basis, which can be seen as a sign of consumer confidence to spend.
Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “We saw welcome signs of growing consumer confidence, with people more willing to ‘trade-up’ and spend a bit more on big-ticket purchases, likely boosted by the growth in the supply of credit and other factors such as low inflation and rising real incomes.
“Some of the measures outlined by the Chancellor in last week’s budget are likely to help boost consumer confidence even further, with measures like the continued freeze in fuel duty and the increased personal tax allowance ensuring consumers have more money in their pockets to spend. We also welcome the Chancellor’s focus on increasing productivity. This is of crucial importance to enhancing retailers’ ability to continue to serve their customers better.”
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Moving into July, many eyes will be trained on sector share prices after the market reacted strongly to a number of surprise announcements, particularly around the living wage, in the Chancellor’s Summer Budget. However, with Murray-mania having once again swept the nation, another heatwave on the horizon, and school holidays imminent, retailers will be hoping that the nation’s feel good factor will continue all summer long.”