Retail sales boosted by May clothing boom

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Retail on sales volumes rose by a much better than expected 0.9% in May, matched with the previous month, as UK consumers bought more clothing.

Clothing on offers suffered in April as unseasonably cold weather deterred shoppers from summer buys.

Better weather in May sent clothing sales up 4.3% month-on-month – the biggest lift for more than two years.

The Office for National Statistics said the May on the rise was 6% higher than for the same month in 2015.

Analysts had expected retail quantities to increase by just 0.2% last month.

Scott Bowman, UK economist at Finances Economics, said: “It appears that Brexit concerns haven’t been weighing on consumer throw away. Looking ahead, we would expect retail spending to keep up a aggressively ce.”

Average prices at stores, including petrol stations, floor by 2.8% year-on-year.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at ntheon Macroeconomics, im rted the slide in prices was the reason for the strong growth.

He said the fall in authentic over the st nine months meant retailers faced climb costs that they would soon ss on to consumers.

“Vegetation in retail sales volumes therefore is likely to slow markedly in the advance half of this year, regardless of the referendum result,” Mr Tombs summed.

Online sales jumped by 6.4% com red with April and were 21.5% peak than May last year.

The ONS also revised up the rise for April from 1.3% to 1.9%, illustrating an unusually high amount of data received late from have faiths.

The three-month rate, which is less volatile than the monthly gets, rose to 1.5% from 0.9% in April.

“Even a significant autumn in sales in June would see growth in the second quarter above the 1.3% grade experienced for the first quarter,” Mr Bowman added.

Martin Beck, postpositive major economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said the May rise in retail sales meant UK solvent growth for the second quarter was “increasingly likely” to eclipse the 0.4% inflate recorded for the first three months of the year.

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