Cost Of Living Crisis Looms As Retail Sales Slump 15 Jun 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
GMB union has called for urgent action on the cost of living crisis as retail sales growth slumped to its lowest level for four years.
Figures from the ONS this morning show that the annual retail sales growth rate was the lowest since April 2013.
Non-food stores were the main contributing factors to this slowdown with an annual fall of 1.2% and predominantly food stores saw the lowest annual growth since July 2013 at 0.1%.
This morning the ONS blamed the slowdown on rising prices.
Average store prices (excluding fuel) increased by 2.8% on the year; the largest growth since March 2012. 
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:
“This isn't rocket science. Wages are going backwards so people have less to spend.
“At the same time inflation is skyrocketing, thanks to uncertainty in how the government will handle Brexit and the collapse of the pound.
"Simply put, what little money people do have doesn’t go as far.
“The bottom line is, hard-working people are struggling and that's down to lack of action from government.
“There is a growing cost of living crisis in this country. Instead of pandering to those who already have more than enough,
"Ministers need to end the public sector pay freeze and tackle the absolute scandal of poverty pay.
"That would be good news for workers and good news for the economy."
Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
 Ole Black, ONS Senior Statistician said this morning that: “The year-on-year growth in the quantity bought for retail sales in May 2017 was at 0.9%. We have not seen lower growth on the year since April 2013. Increased retail prices across all sectors seem to be a significant factor in slowing growth.” ONS, Retail sales in Great Britain: May 2017, 15 June 2017 - https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/may2017