UK retail sales fall as cost of living surges


June’s British Retail Consortium-KPMG tracker revealed sales volumes are falling at a rate not seen since the depths of the pandemic

UK retail sales have fallen for the third month in a row as households cut back on discretionary purchases amid the cost of living surge.

June’s British Retail Consortium-KPMG tracker revealed sales volumes are falling at a rate not seen since the depths of the pandemic.


Meanwhile, Twitter shares closed 11% lower at $32.65 last night after Tesla boss Elon Musk withdrew his $54.20 a share takeover offer worth $44 billion. Musk cited concerns about the number of fake accounts on the platform, but Twitter yesterday vowed to close the deal ‘on the price and terms agreed’.

The surge for Centrica and SSE shares continued today after moves towards a windfall tax on electricity generators were put on hold.

The upheaval in Downing Street means no new policies or fiscal measures are expected, prompting the relief rally for the power firms after former chancellor Rishi Sunak had earlier threatened to target the industry’s ‘extraordinary profits’.

The possibility of a broader windfall tax that covered more than just the oil and gas industry sent shares spinning in May, particularly as many investors assumed that companies focused on the renewables sector would not be touched.

Centrica and SSE shares rallied 3% yesterday and both lifted another 1.5% today, up 1.2p to 84p and 27.5p to 1773.5p at the top of the FTSE 100 risers board.

Their gains came during another uncertain session for the London market, with investors opting to sit on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s US inflation reading.

The FTSE 100 index, which closed flat on Monday after initially falling 1%, dipped 15.01 points to 7181.58 as demand fears continue to depress many stocks in the mining sector.

British Land and Land Securities topped the fallers board after another City firm took a more cautious stance on the landlords.

RBC downgraded its target price on British Land to 375p and LandSec to 675p, leaving the pair down 4% at 443.9p and 650.4p respectively.

The FTSE 250 index fell 113.70 points to 18,723.28, with shopping centre firm Hammerson 5% lower.

On a brighter note, contracts-for-difference trading business Plus500 surged 32p to 1594p as it forecast stronger-than-expected half-year revenues and profits. Broker Peel Hunt sees further upside after reiterating a target price of 1,920p.

Meanwhile, today’s figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG show that online shopping sales were down 9% last month, with purchases related to the home suffering the biggest falls.

The Jubilee weekend provided some relief for food and drink retailers as sales grew by nearly 1.5% year-on-year, despite the rising cost across most items.

Retail sales overall fell for the third month in a row, although the 1% decline was against a strong June 2021 and a backdrop of unprecedented price rises.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: Retailers are caught between significant rising costs in their supply chains and protecting their customers from price rises.

The government needs to get creative and find ways to help relieve some of this cost pressure – the upcoming consultation on transitional relief is a golden opportunity to ensure that retailers aren’t overpaying on their business rates bills, she said.

She said: Government action on transitional relief would make a meaningful difference to retailers’ costs and ease pressure on prices for customers.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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