Largest fall in food sales since 1988

Retail figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have shown the biggest year-on-year fall in food sales since 1988.

The volume of sales in predominantly food shops fell by 4.2% in June 2011, compared to last year, to levels not seen since June 2005. In the last 18 months, there have only been two periods of positive growth.

Between June 2010 and June 2011, sales values increased by 1.3%, with prices estimated to have risen by 5.8% above the consumer price indices, (CPI) which stands at 4.2%.

There was a 0.2% differential between large and small stores.

The estimated total value of sales within the food sector is approximately 13.4bn (non-seasonally adjusted) more than any other retail sales sector.

The news comes only days after consumer watchdog Which? claimed that rising food costs are driving savvy cash-strapped shoppers to budget stores.

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