Food stores help retail sales rebound in June

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England manager Gareth Southgate is seen on a screen as fans nervously watch a live broadcast at the Bierschenke bar of the match between England and Germany to decide who gets through to the Euro 2020 semi-finals on June 29, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

UK retail sales rebounded in June, with food and drink purchases lifted as football fans enjoyed the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, official data showed Friday.

Retail sales climbed 0.5 per cent from May, when they had dropped, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

“June’s retail sales have picked up again following the dip seen last month, with the main driver coming from food and drink sales, boosted by football fans across Britain enjoying the Euros,” noted Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.

Food store sales jumped 4.2 per cent in June, offsetting a 1.7 per cent drop in non-food purchases, the ONS said Friday.

Food stores have seen a decline of 5.5 per cent in the previous month, when consumers had switched some food spending to hospitality as some restrictions in that sector were relaxed.

By the start of the Euros, most lockdown restrictions had been lifted across much of the UK, helping to lift also fuel sales in June, but it remains 2.1 per cent below their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

However, retail sales were up 9.5 percent when compared with February 2020, the ONS added.