UK retail sales fall in May as higher prices impact consumers spending patterns.
Falling food sales were a main driver for the fall in UK retail sales in May, the Office for National Statistics said Friday, pushing overall sales down 0.5% on the month, just slightly better than the 0.7% decline expected by City analysts.
"Feedback from supermarkets suggested customers were spending less on their food shop, because of the rising cost of living," Heather Bovill, Deputy Director for Surveys and Economic Indicators said.
Ex-Fuel, sales fell 0.7% m/m, or 5.7% y/y, also slightly better than expected.
“More workers returning to the office may have contributed to increased fuel sales this month," Bovill said, but she highlighted many retailers now reporting "consumer reluctance to spend due to affordability worries and higher prices." (See MNI INTERVIEW: Darker Days Ahead For UK Consumer- GfK's Staton)