ONS: UK retail sales fall in May

| June 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

Higher prices at the petrol pumps and economic uncertainty has led to a fall in UK retail sales for the month of May, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

The ONS said retail sales dived 1.4% last month, reversing the strong rise seen in April due to the late bank holidays, good weather and Royal Wedding.

Last week, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said annual like-for-like retail sales fell by 2.1% in May after April’s 5.2% rise.

However, a fall was expected in May after consumers overspent in April but May’s fall was worse than expected.

Today’s figures suggest the economy continues to struggle and will lead the Bank of England to leave interest rates at the record low of 0.5% for some time to come.

Analysts say consumer spending is likely to remain under pressure in the face of higher inflation, rising unemployment and slow wage growth.

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