By including petrol and fuel sales in the retail sales statistics, the Office for National Statistics has introduced a volatility into the numbers that was not there before. This has been particularly the case in recent months, when fuel sales were affected by panic buying over fears of a tankers drivers' strike.
So retail sales volumes including fuel rose by just 0.1% in June, following a 1.5% jump in May. In April they fell sharply, so are down by 0.7% in the latest three months. Sales volumes on this basis were 1.6% up on a year earlier in June.
Excluding fuel sales, the traditional way of reporting the numbers, sales volumes rose by 0.3% in June after a 1% rise in May. In the latest three months they were flat in volume - up 0.1% - but down 0.3% in value. That is probably a better guide to high street spending. In June they were 2.2% up in volume terms on a year earlier. More here.