June was a muted month for retail sales according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG

Helen Cahill
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Retailers have been blaming wet weather for poor sales (Source: Getty)

Retail sales were as damp as the weather in June as consumers stayed inside and waited for the outcome of the EU referendum.

Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG shows like-for-like sales fell by 0.5 per cent in June compared to the same month last year, with total growth slowing to 0.2 per cent.

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Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insights, said that in June "consumer caution was fuelled by mounting uncertainty in the run-up to the EU membership referendum, and then likely magnified by the vote for Brexit".

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "Despite the fall in the pound, the time it takes for any input price increases to translate into higher shop prices will depend on a combination of factors including further changes in the pound, commodity prices and the challenge for retailers to move pricing given the intensity of competition.

"So there won't be any instant shocks as any changes would take time to feed through."

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Food sales grew by 0.8 per cent in the three months from April to June - but the deflation in like-for-like sales "suggests food and drink sales continue to be dragged down by the deflationary tide in the sector", said David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG.

McCorquodale said: "With May sunshine a distant memory, summer wardrobes remained bare as sales of women's fashion and footwear plummeted following one of the wettest and dullest starts to a UK summer since records began."

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