UK July retail sales drop amid soccer frenzy

British retail sales unexpectedly fell sharply last month.

The data out Friday (August 20) suggests some consumers may have been more focused on England's progress in the Euro 2020 soccer tournament than going to the shops.

Retail sales volumes dropped by 2.5% in July from June.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a 0.4% month-on-month increase in sales.

The Office for National Statistics said retailers had said the combination of Euro 2020 - which saw England reach the final of the tournament - and bad weather kept shoppers away.

In a possible sign of renewed caution after a rise in cases, online sales got a boost.

They rose to 27.9% of total spending after falling in June.

An opinion poll by market research firm GfK showed consumer confidence dipped only slightly.

But it also revealed consumers were less willing to make major purchases, suggesting they might be opting to save more money.

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