UK retail sales recovered in June as the start of the Euro 2020 football championship boosted food store sales, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday.

Retail sales grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in June, reversing a 1.3 percent fall in May. Sales were forecast to grow 0.4 percent.

The sales volume was up 9.5 percent in June when compared with their pre-coronavirus pandemic February 2020 levels.

Food store sales advanced 4.2 percent, while non-food store sales were down 1.7 percent in June. Sales of automotive fuels grew 2.3 percent as people increased their amount of travel.

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales were up 0.3 percent, in contrast to May’s 2 percent decline. However, the pace of growth was weaker than the economists’ forecast of 0.6 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales growth moderated to 9.7 percent from 24.6 percent in the same period last year. Economists had expected an annual growth of 9.6 percent.

Likewise, sales volume excluding auto fuel, advanced 7.4 percent, but slower than the 21.7 percent increase seen in May and the economists’ forecast of 8.2 percent.

In three months to June, overall retail sales volume increased 12.2 percent from the previous three months.

Earlier in the day, the survey data published by the market research group GfK showed that British consumer sentiment strengthened more-than-expected in July to reach ahead of its March 2020 pre-lockdown level.

The consumer sentiment index rose to -7 in July from -9 in the previous month. The expected reading was -8.

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