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BRC baffled by ONS June retail rise figure amid Brexit worries

British Retail Consortium (BRC) has responded to the latest ONS Retail Sales index, which showed 4% year-on-year growth for June.

Kyle Monk, BRC's Head of Insight and Analytics, commented, “The ONS Retail Sales Index has defied both analyst predictions and generally reported sentiment from retailers. The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor tracks a substantial part of the UK retail market and showed a decline of 1.3%.

'Similarly the Visa UK Consumer Spending Index showed a 1.4% decline in spending for the month. Given that last June 2018 was such a strong trading period, it is very difficult to believe that nationally year-on-year sales rose by 4%.

“Even if one were to trust in the optimistic outlook presented by the ONS, what is clear is that retailers continue to face disproportionate cost pressures, both through increasing business rates and uncertainty caused by Brexit.'

Monk concluded, 'Policy makers now have just 22 days in Parliament to present industry with solutions before a potential no deal exit from the European Union, which will have disastrous consequences for British Retail.”