June was generally a “washout” while the Jubilee did not deliver a boost on the scale hoped for, according to official retail figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Excluding fuel, the ONS numbers show the total value of sales (not seasonally adjusted) was up 2.8% in June compared with the same month in 2011. But that growth was significantly weaker than the 3.7% in May. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) own-figures, published last week, showed year-on-year growth of 3.5% for June 2012.
BRC director general, Stephen Robertson, said: “The wettest June on record posed a major challenge for retailers. These figures confirm our own showing that there was only a mild-boost from the Jubilee but it did stop June being significantly worse. Our results show people splashed out during the few sunny days ahead of the long weekend but the extra bank holiday made little difference.
“The extent of the rain in recent months has largely drowned demand for summer goods. Retailers with unsold shorts, sandals or garden furniture are now pinning their hopes on a decent late spell of sunshine to clear space for autumn ranges.
“The good news for hard-pressed customers is; inflation is sharply down over the last three months. Severe discounting is cutting clothing and footwear prices and supermarkets are passing on falls in global commodity costs – offering hope of a revival in consumer spending power.”