Retail sales grew by 0.7 per cent in June 2023 with increases across all the main sectors, as warmer weather and a greater selection increased consumer spending.
During the month, non-food stores sales volumes rose slightly by 1.0 per cent in June 2023, following a fall of 0.5 per cent in May 2023, according to the ONS.
The lift was credited to department stores and furniture retailers that reported that summer sales and increased footfall helped boost volumes.
However, Clothing stores sales volumes fell by 0.4 per cent and were 1.5 per cent below pre-coronavirus levels.
A slew of price cutting initiatives rolled out by supermarkets also helped food store sales volumes reach 0.7 per cent growth in June 2023, following a fall of 0.4 per cent last month.
Due to the cost of living crisis all major grocery stores have introduced price matching and loyalty schemes to offer the most competitive price on items to attract customers.
In June, online sales fell, as its pandemic boom appears to be slowly coming off its peak.
It fell to 26.0 per cent in June 2023 from 26.5 per cent last month and has remained broadly consistent at around 26 per cent since May 2022.
Earlier this week, inflation fell to 7.9 per cent, with consumers hoping that the dip may kickstart a further decline in prices they pay at the till and online.
ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Retail sales grew strongly, with food sales bouncing back from the effects of the extra bank holiday, partly helped by good weather, and department stores and furniture shops also having a strong month.
“However, these were partially offset by falls in fuel, garden centres and clothes shops.
“Growth still fell on an annual basis, but at its slowest rate since the beginning of the Ukraine war.”
“Retail sales in June came in much stronger than expected, this is despite fears of soaring mortgage costs and stubborn inflation dominating the news flow over the month. I am reminded of a well-known quote describing economics “if you are not a little confused, you don’t understand it,” Jonathan Moyes, head of Investment Research at Wealth Club, said.
“It appears that warm weather drove consumers onto the high street in search of new clothing and garden furniture over the month. Whilst the picture may look rosy now, as the months grow colder, there is a risk the chill of higher mortgage costs and inflation will weigh heavy on household budgets. “
He added: “The big question is how much longer can the consumer hold out? Is this the last hurrah of summer spending before the cost of living squeeze really begins to really bite, or is the consumer in a stronger financial position than many predict?”