U.K. retail sales unexpectedly rose last month, ending a downbeat second quarter on a more positive note.
The volume of goods sold in stores and online climbed 1% in June after dropping for the previous two months, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted another fall.
Sales were up 0.7% in the second quarter, adding 0.04 percentage point to growth. Food sales dropped 0.3% in the period, while department stores also dragged on growth as June saw a record sixth month of declines.
Consumers have been a bright spot for the U.K. in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, supporting the economy even as businesses cut investment. Economists nevertheless predict output fell 0.1% in the second quarter, in what would be the first contraction since 2012.
The pound rose after the release and traded at $1.2478 as of 9:33 a.m. in London.
The rise in June was driven by growth in non-food stores, with statisticians highlighting increased sales of second-hand goods including charity shops and antiques. Food sales rose 0.2% in the month, while household goods saw an increase of 1.9%.
Sales excluding auto fuel rose 0.9% in June, and climbed 3.6% from a year earlier.
Source : Bloomberg