Cooler weather has dulled consumer spending in June, with retail sales down 0.2% year-on-year.

This was a significant contrast to the 4.9% growth seen in June 2023, according to the latest BRC-KPMG RSM Consumer Data, though it is slightly better than the three-month average decline of 1.1%.

Food sales saw a modest increase of 1.1% year-on-year over the three months to June, in contrast to the 9.8% growth witnessed in June 2023. This growth is below the 12-month average of 5.5%, indicating a slowdown in consumer spending on groceries despite easing inflationary pressures.

Non-food sales were particularly affected, decreasing by 2.9% year-on-year over the three months to June, compared to a 0.3% growth in June 2023. This decline is sharper than the 12-month average decline of 1.9%.

In-store non-food sales dropped by 3.7% year-on-year, while online non-food sales decreased by 0.7%, a slight improvement over the average decline of 1.0% in June 2023.

Equity analyst at Shore Capital, Clive Black acknowledged the impact of the weather on this performance, “No one in the trade wants to talk about the weather but it had a compressing impact upon key seasonal areas like DIY & Gardening, Clothing & Footwear & Food.”

The contrast with last year’s favourable weather conditions, which boosted sales in these categories, has made the current downturn more pronounced.

“Fortunate with his side of the draw, Gareth Southgate’s not so merrymen bought a modicum of relief to the consumer mood in England at least, but the Wimbledon rain makes for ongoing sogginess as comparatives ease.

“If Mr Southgate can weave some magic in Germany, and Mr Sunshine emerge, then Sir Starmer may just commence his time as Prime Minister, for which we wish him well, with some necessary good fortune,” added Black.

Linda Ellett, UK Head of Consumer, Retail & Leisure at KPMG, highlighted the ongoing challenges facing businesses: “Despite pressure on household finances easing, with petrol and energy costs and shop price inflation all continuing to fall, consumers remain incredibly reluctant to take the brakes off of their spending.”

She emphasised that despite some positive drivers, such as the warmer weather and major sports events, financial concerns still loom large for many households.

“Retailers, who are running to stand still at the moment, having exhausted all of the levers they have at their disposal to cut costs and drive sales via promotions, will be looking to the new Government to boost the economy and confidence.

The overall economic conditions may slowly be improving, but the health of the sector remains fragile, and action is needed now to help support this vital economic contributor – particularly around neglected areas such as business rate reform,” Ellet added.