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Drink sales return in July following earlier Brexit drop-off

Published:  11 August, 2016

According to new figures released this week from the British Retail Consortium, UK retail sales have increased despite the fear that Brexit had consumers cutting back.

UK retail sales increased 1.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2015 with total sales up 1.9% which is the strongest growth since January this year.

These figures cover the four weeks from 3-30 July 2016.

"This month's solid sales figures may come as a shock to some given the slew of early indicators suggesting that consumer activity was slowing in the wake of the Referendum result. However, little has materially changed for most UK households in the wake of June 23, so it is not surprising to us that sales are simply responding to their normal underlying drivers," said Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium.

Food and drink sales, which took a steep decline following the Referendum vote have recovered.

"Given the sharp drop in food and drink spending in the immediate aftermath of the Referendum, a return to sales growth during July was very encouraging. As some of the economic and political uncertainties were resolved, shopper confidence began to recover,' said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of global food and grocery firm IGD.

Weather played a critical role in the bump in food and drink sales as more people opted to get out of the house and enjoy it.

David McCorquodale, the head of retail, KPMG said: "The sun shone down on retail fortunes in July with total sales increasing 1.9% versus 2015. Warmer weather helped blow away some of the post-Referendum blues, boosting the UK feel good factor and giving consumers a sense that 'life goes on' following the initial shock of the Brexit vote.The July heatwave put picnics and barbecues high on the agenda lifting sales of food and drink back into the black."