Jubilee a washout as downpours keep shoppers away

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The Independent Online

The Jubilee celebrations were a damp squib for retailers as high street sales fell well short of hopes despite desperate price slashing, according to official figures.

Sales grew a meagre 0.1 per cent in June, well below City expectations, as record downpours kept shoppers away, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Jubilee holiday "appears not to have had a significant impact on retail sales", the ONS said.

The figures showed food sales down 0.7 per cent over the month as the rain forced households to leave the barbecues rusting in the shed.

Clothing and footwear fared strongest, up 2.5 per cent.

The ONS sales deflator, which shows how much prices have risen in the past year, slowed to 0.3 per cent during June, down from 1.2 per cent in May.

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said: "Many hoped the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was going to boost sales.

"However, this appears to not have been the case, or if it did it was offset by households pulling back on spending elsewhere."