Year-on-year comparisons worst for six years
Retail sales volumes for June were the highest of the year, according to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics.

The volume of retail sales for the three months to June grew 0.7 per cent compared with the previous three months. This is the highest rate of growth for the sector since November last year. However, annual growth still remains at its lowest rate for the past six years.

Total sales volumes grew by 1.3 per cent in June, the highest month of growth since December 2003. It follows level trading in May and 0.3 per cent month-on-month growth in April.

Retailers questioned in the report said that growth has been driven by department stores moving summer Sales from July to June, a pick up of sales in summer fashion and strong sales in sportswear.

Barclays Business Banking national retail director Paul Clarke said: 'Retailers are experiencing clear pressure and lack of footfall, with the underlying three-month trend deteriorating further last month. Consumers are certainly showing much more discretion in their spending.

'At the top end of the spectrum, where products match aspirations, then income is not the main issue. At the lower end, consumers need to be tempted to buy. At the end of the day it's all down to having the right proposition and product and not everyone is getting this right.'