Britons are spending much less on food as rising costs drive them to cut back on their weekly grocery store store, the most recent official figures have proven.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) mentioned smaller grocery payments have been the principle issue behind a 0.5% drop in retail sales in Great Britain final month.

However, shops and family items retailers additionally reported a reluctance of customers to spend as a consequence of a better price of residing.

The UK’s statistics company mentioned the 1.6% lower in the quantity of food sales gave the impression to be linked to inflation, which as measured by the patron costs index hit a 40-year-high of 9.1% in May.

Retail sales progress in April was additionally revised down from an unique estimate of 1.4% to 0.4%, whereas in the three months to May – a greater information to the underlying development than a single month’s figures – spending was down by 1.3% on the earlier quarter.

The ONS mentioned the fall in retail sales was extra marked when spending by motorists on petrol and diesel was excluded. On this foundation, retail sales have been down by 0.7% on the month and 1.5% over the quarter.

Heather Bovill, the ONS deputy director for surveys and financial indicators, mentioned: “Retail sales fell in May pushed by a decline in food sales. Feedback from supermarkets steered clients have been spending much less on their food store due to the rising price of residing.

“More employees returning to the workplace could have contributed to elevated gas sales this month, whereas shoppers shopping for outfits for summer season holidays helped increase clothes sales.

“These rises have been offset by falls for family items and shops, with retailers in these areas reporting client reluctance to spend because of affordability worries and better costs.”

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Lynda Petherick, the retail lead at Accenture in the UK and Ireland, mentioned the fall in sales would come as no shock to a retail sector grappling with quickly rising prices and stress to maintain costs low for struggling households.

“Inflation remains a key issue for retail businesses, who are having to grapple with growing supply chain costs, as well as keeping their stores afloat and staff well compensated. For consumers, rising costs for staple goods mean many don’t have excess money to spend on discretionary items,” Petherick mentioned.

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