By Jonathan Davies

Retail sales suffered a slump in June despite a spell of hot weather.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that retail sales dropped 0.2% from May.

The ONS said food, household goods and petrol sales all fell during the month as average prices dropped 2.9%.

Sales have been falling for the past five months, but growth remains stronger than at any time during the past nine years. June also marked the 28th consecutive month of growth in retail sales.

Keith Richardson, Managing Director Retail Sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Shoppers do not like uncertainty, and retailers will now be hoping that their horizons become clearer in the weeks and months ahead, and that that will be enough to encourage consumers to loosen their purse strings.

“While falling food and fuel prices might have put more money in people’s pockets, the focus on price across a number of sectors mean that shoppers are still wedded to discounts and promotions.

“Unless the recent heatwave has already persuaded people to spruce up their summer wardrobes, more promotions may be needed if retailers are to avoid being left with unsold stock at the end of the season.”