UK retail sales have dropped unexpectedly in June, according to the latest official figures published this week.
A sales decline of 0.5 per cent month on month after growing 1.4 per cent in May and 1.3 per cent in April has sent the pound below $1.30 for the first time sine September 2017.
Economists had expected sales to fall 0.2 per cent during June.
The Office for National Statistics figures showed that while warm weather provided relief for grocers and off-licences in June, helped along by the World Cup, it failed to ease the pressure on the rest of the high street.
Sales in volumes of non-food stores were just 0.7 per cent higher in June than a year earlier, compared with a 2.9 per cent year on year increase in overall retail sales.
Retailers have been coming under pressure over the past year as consumers face weak wage growth as well as higher levels of inflation triggered by the Brexit vote. Major players like House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer and Mothercare are closing hundreds of stores as a consequence.