Food sales rose quicker than total retail market this summer

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Food sales jumped the highest this summer, outstripping the overall retail market in growth terms, the latest BRC – KPMG sales monitor indicates.

Food sales increased 2.3% on a like-for-like basis in the three months to July and 3.4% on a total basis.

Food’s growth was weaker against the three-month average to June this year but stronger against the same three months to July 2016.

Non-food retail sales in the UK, however, decreased 0.7% on a like-for-like basis and by 0.4% on a total basis over the three months to July this year.

UK retail sales overall increased 0.9% in July on a like-for-like basis form June 2016 – slower growth than the preceding year when like-for-like growth was 1.1%.

Total retail sales climbed 1.4% in July against a growth of 1.9% in July 2016 – in line with the 12-month average.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “This month’s growth was underpinned by food sales alone, while non-food sales relapsed into negative territory as the competition heats up over a shrinking pool of discretionary consumer spending power.”

Food could be expected to continue “making the running” for sales growth for the time being, although driven more by price than volume.

“So ensuring tariff-free trade with the EU must be the focus for government as it resumes negotiations at the end of this month.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said while food price inflation continued to “play a role”, this pressure was reportedly easing.

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