UK retail sales increase in July, helped by Euro 2020 food and drink spending – business live

UK retail sales increase in July, helped by Euro 2020 food and drink spending – business live

Hello and welcome to our continued coverage of the global economy, financial markets, euro area and business.
Retail sales in the UK rebounded slightly in June, increasing 0.5% from the previous month, when sales fell 1.4%, due to an increase in the number of outlets then that bars, pubs and restaurants have reopened inside. The reading is slightly better than the 0.4% gain predicted by economists.

The Office for National Statistics said sales rose 4.2% at food stores, with people buying more food and drink at the start of the Euro 2020 football tournament.

The Olympic Games, also delayed compared to last year, open today in Tokyo. You can read more here:

UK petrol and diesel sales also rose in June, by 2.3%, the ONS said, as people traveled more, but remained 2.1% below their levels. ‘before the coronavirus pandemic of February 2020. Non-food stores saw a 1.7% drop in sales volumes, due to declines in furniture stores and clothing stores. Household items suffered their first decline which has not been due to the lockdown since the start of the pandemic.

Online shopping remains much higher than before the pandemic, but has declined as more people visit physical stores. The share of online sales fell to 26.7% in June, from 28.4% in May.

The picture is brighter in the last three months to June, when retail sales rose 12.2% from the previous three months, driven by a strong rebound in April when non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen after the last coronavirus lockdown.

Overall, retail is fairly healthy – sales in June were 9% above pre-virus levels.

UK retail sales. Photograph: Office of National Statistics

This morning we also receive the flash reads on IHS Markit’s July sector inquiries. Sara Johnson, Executive Director of Global Economy at Market, says:

Faced with headwinds from the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus, global economic expansion is advancing – albeit more timidly than a month ago. The outlook in advanced countries with high vaccination rates remains bright, but the short-term outlook in emerging and developing countries with low vaccination rates is bleaker.

Asian stock markets are mixed after a volatile week where traders were torn by hopes of a global recovery and fears about the spread of the Delta variant. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.1%, Singapore’s Straits Times index is down 0.2% and the Australian market is stable.

Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK, says:

The rally from Monday’s sell-off continued at a steady pace yesterday, with the FTSE-100 being the party’s most notable… while the rest of Europe closed higher for the third day in a row.
US markets, and technology stocks in particular, led the way, with the Nasdaq 100 closing at a new high, with the S&P 500 just below. This positive finish should translate into a higher European opening despite a weaker Asian session, and with the closing of Japanese markets.
Yesterday’s European Central Bank meeting did not generate much enthusiasm, with ECB President Christine Lagarde again speaking a lot while saying very little.
The new forward-looking indications simply pointed out that the ECB was likely to be ultra-accommodating for a long time, and if anything was the equivalent of giving a new paint to a rather battered old car and a quick tune-up of the engine. It’s prettier but it’s still the same old banger underneath.


  • 8:15 am BST: France Markit Fabrication / Services / Composite PMI for July
  • 8:30 am BST: Germany Markit Manufacturing / Services / Composite PMI for July
  • 9am BST: Eurozone Manufacturing / Services / Composite Markit PMI for July
  • 9:30 am BST: UK Markit Manufacturing / Services / Composite PMI for July
  • 2:45 p.m. BST: US Markit Manufacturing / Services / Composite PMI for July


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