Hint of summer sun brings healthy boost for UK’s retail sales figures
Sunnier weather towards the end of last month and a pre- jubilee spending splurge provided some respite for Britain’s hard-pressed retailers, industry figures today reveal.
A blast of summer sun across much of the UK in the closing days of May helped trigger a surge in food and clothing sales after weeks of heavy rainfall.
That left retail sales by value 1.3 per cent higher on a like-for-like basis in May, following a sharp 3.3 per cent decline the previous month, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The body, which represents four-in-ten UK retailers, said miserable weather at the start of May led to pent-up demand and then as the weather improved shoppers hit the high streets.
Despite the apparent arrival of summer lifting shoppers’ spirits, the underlying trend of customers searching for value and special offers continued, the BRC added. Online and mail-order sales of non-food items showed strong growth.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “The recent sharp drop in oil prices boost hopes that inflation will fall back appreciably over the coming months and ease the squeeze on consumers.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West