UK May retail sales: A big beat on estimates

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the UK’s retail trade report on Thursday, which showed that the UK’s consumer spending bettered estimates in the month of May.

The UK’s retail volumes came in at 1.3% in May m/m, while the annualized retail spending jumped 3.9%. Markets had estimated a 0.5% reading on a monthly basis; while a 2.4% print was expected on yearly basis.

Retail sales excluding volatile items such as fuel also beat expectations, arriving at 1.3% m/m and 4.4% y/y.

Key Highlights (via ONS)

Underlying 3M/3M retailing s/a rose 0.9pct.

Weather was a key driver in appar.

Shops saw increased sales due to Royal wedding and FA Cup Final.

Non-store retailing showed strong growth in May.

Online spending for food, department & clothing stores was up again.

No major store closures seen in the month, although a few were put into administration.

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