Retail sales fall despite football
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) UK retail sales fell for the first time since January last month despite World Cup fever which drove higher sales of football shirts.
Shoppers generally proved unwilling to spend in May with the volume of retail sales down 0.5% over the month, compared with a 1% increase in April when consumers stocked up on goods for Easter.
A drop in food, petrol and household goods sales dragged the number down last month, offsetting growth in other areas including internet sales, clothing and footwear, and second hand goods according to the Office for National Statistics.
Sales at sports shops were up 3.9% over the month and 28.9% compared with May last year as fans splashed out on football shirts and other sports equipment ahead of the World Cup.
"The feelgood factor created by this sporting event has undoubtedly delivered a real boost to the retail sector and should help to drive sales in June too, as people buy replica football shirts, food and drink to enjoy the games," said David McCorquodale, UK head of retail at accountant KPMG.
Looking at the quarterly data, which strips out monthly volatility, retail sales rose by 1.3%, marking the longest period of growth in six and a half years. Sales were up 3.9% over the year.
Prices of goods sold by retailers in May were 0.7% lower than a year earlier, which was the biggest drop since September 2009 and a further sign of the lack of inflationary pressure in the economy.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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