LONDON: British retail sales rose in May from the previous month, helped by demand for food, household goods and petrol, official data showed Thursday, 18 June.
Sales by volume increased 0.2% last month compared with April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
That confounded market expectations for a 0.2% decline, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg, and followed a downwardly revised 0.9% gain in April. The ONS added that retail sales grew by 4.6% in May compared with one year earlier.
"Retail sales rose by a modest looking 0.2% in May but this followed a jump of 0.9% in April and the underlying trend looks healthy," noted Howard Archer, chief UK economist at research group IHS Global Insight.
"This maintains hopes that decent consumer spending can underpin significantly improved GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the second quarter."