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.


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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam
Craig Erlam

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