Summer bounce back for retail sales

Consumer spending on the high street has bounced back, reducing fears that it was grinding to a halt.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales in June increased by 1.9% when compared to May. However, retails sales increased by 6% when compared to June 2002.

The increase is the largest seen since November 2001 when consumer confidence rebounded after the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

Sales at predominately food stores and households goods saw the largest increases.

The latest figures are a significant turnaround from those for May, where retailers recorded a 0.1% fall. The fall sparked fears that consumer confidence was coming to an end and helped the Bank of England to decide to cut interest rates this month.

Consumer spending has been driven by the historically low interest rates and has been responsible for the UK’s good economic performance. However, some analysts are concerned that consumer spending has only been funded by ever increasing levels of debt.