Brexit fears fail to dampen surge in retail sales

Analysts said consumers had shrugged off warnings over the economic impact of a Leave vote. Picture: John Devlin
Analysts said consumers had shrugged off warnings over the economic impact of a Leave vote. Picture: John Devlin
Share this article
6
Have your say

Retail sales surged in May despite uncertainty over the EU referendum – as the Bank of England monetary policy committee yesterday kept interest rates at historic lows.

The Office for National Statistics said high street sales rose 0.9 per cent on April, and were up 6 per cent on the same time last year.

Average store prices, including petrol stations, were down 2.8 per cent on a year ago, and the amount spent was up 3.1 per cent over the same time, and up 1.3 per cent compared with the month before.The value of online sales increased 21.5 per cent on a year ago, and 6.4 per cent on April.

READ MORE: Sunshine warms high street sales, but big picture is still ‘fragile’

The above-expectation figures show consumers are paying little heed to warnings that the economy could nosedive following any Brexit vote next week, analysts said.

UFX.com MD Dennis de Jong said: “Retail sales have been erratic over the past few months, but it’s good news that May’s figures have come in above expectation.”