Retail sales bounced back slightly in the second quarter of the year, as warmer weather encouraged shoppers to refresh their summer wardrobes.
Overall retail sales by volume edged up 0.6% in June, and 1.5% across the quarter, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The quantity bought increased by 2.9% compared with June 2016, marking the 50th consecutive period of year-on-year growth.
In the first quarter of the year, retail sales suffered the biggest quarterly decline since 2010, as higher inflation weighed on consumer spending.
However, overall sales volumes have now recovered to around the same point at the start of the year.
The amount spent increased – retail sales by value were up 5.7% year-on-year and 0.4% month-on-month.
Anecdotal evidence suggested warmer weather contributed to the overall increase, which was driven by fashion sales – up 6.2% year-on-year.
Fashion takes in slack from food and fuel
ONS senior statistician Kate Davies said: “A particularly warm June seems to have prompted strong sales in clothing, which has compensated for a decline in food and fuel sales for the month.”
PwC partner and retail and consumer specialist Lisa Hooker said: “The latest ONS retail sales figures show that growth can sometimes be as volatile as the great British weather.
“But despite the volatility, we can take comfort from the fact that consumers aren’t cutting back in certain areas.
“Particular strength in clothing shows that seasonally warm temperatures still encourage shoppers out to refresh their summer wardrobes.
However, grocery sales slipped 0.5% last month, by both value and volume, bucking the recent trend.
“Input costs for food suppliers have continued to rise, with food commodity prices increasing by 5% on average since Christmas,” Hooker said.