UK Retail Sales Unexpectedly Ticked Up in May

UK Retail Sales Unexpectedly Ticked Up in May

U.K. retail sales rose unexpectedly in May, helped by warm weather that boosted online trading, though the squeeze on food spending caused by high inflation persisted.

Retail-sales volumes ticked up 0.3% on month, lower than the rise of 0.5% in April, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. The reading was, however, stronger than expectations of a 0.2% fall from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Non-store retailing sales were boosted by warm weather in the second half of the month, with volumes up by 2.7%, on strong sales by online retailers of outdoor related goods and summer clothing, the statistics agency said.

But food stores saw volumes decline 0.5%, impacted by rising food prices as well as a possible uptick in takeaways and fast food due to the extra Coronation bank holiday.

U.K. inflation for May held at 8.7%, while for food it was 18.7%, down only slightly from 19.3% in April.

Automotive fuel stores sales volumes rose by 1.7% in May, following a fall of the same amount in April, and volumes there remain 9.5% below their prepandemic levels, the ONS said.

Overall sales volumes rose 0.3% in the three months to May compared with the previous three months, but were still down 2.1% in May on year, the ONS said.

error: Content is protected !!