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June 17, 2010    

May UK retail sales boosted by World Cup

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by Kay Murchie

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today revealed a strong performance on the High Street for the month of May - boosted by the sales of televisions in the build-up to the World Cup tournament.

According to the ONS, sales volumes grew by 0.6% during the month compared with April, boosted by a 1.7% increase in household goods sales and a 1% rise in food sales.

The figures exceeded analysts expectations of a 0.3% rise.

On an annual basis, the ONS said sales volumes were 2.2% higher in May compared with a year earlier.

Commenting on the figures, Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “It looks like consumer spending is on course to make a decent contribution to GDP growth in the second quarter.

“The breakdown of the May sales data suggest that there was a boost from the World Cup as household goods sale… were likely lifted markedly by sales of widescreen TVs so that fans could enjoy the football more,” he added.

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