England’s run to the semi-finals of the World Cup and a sweltering summer led to a spending rise on food, drink, and electric fans in July, caused a minor spike in spending in July.
Total retail sales values grew by 1.6% compared with July 2017, the weakest increase since February bar a fall in April, which affected by the timing of Easter, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Helen Dickinson, the BRC chief executive, said: “Last month’s sweltering temperatures kept shoppers focused on eating, drinking and keeping cool. Food sales had their best July in five years, while fans and cooling equipment flew off the shelves”.
“However, total sales growth slowed as the heat laid bare the underlying weakness in consumer spending.”
Pub spending rose by nearly 17 percent, the most since April last year, helped by the World Cup. “It will be interesting to see if this strong level of growth continues,” Barclaycard director Esme Harwood said.
“It’s clear that some consumers remain cautious about what’s to come with interest rates rising and overall confidence in household finances down slightly from June.”
Earlier this month, the Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time since the financial crisis more than a decade ago but stressed it would continue to raise borrowing costs only gradually.