UK retail sales recover in May, helped by housing market

British retail sales rose in May compared with the same month last year, helped by a recovery in the property market but still disappointing some retailers, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium said the value of total retail sales increased by 1.1 percent, after a 1.3 percent fall in April when the year-on-year comparison was hit by the early timing of Easter.

The BRC said furniture sales were the strongest since July of last year, excluding distortions caused by the timing of Easter. The increase reflected a recent pick-up in Britain’s housing market which last year lost some of its steam, it said.

Clothing and footwear sales fell by the most since September, hit by cool weather last month and by a surge in sales in May last year.

Food sales stabilised after a weak six months.

British consumers have helped to power the country’s economic recovery for the last two years and their spending is likely to continue with inflation around zero and wages slowly recovering from a long period of weakness.


Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.