U.K. retail sales jumped more than economists forecast in May as warm weather and the Royal Wedding prompted consumers to spend.
Sales climbed 1.3 percent from April, compared with a median estimate of a 0.5 percent gain in a Bloomberg survey. The increase was led by food and clothing, according to data from the Office for National Statistics in London. Excluding auto fuel, sales rose 1.3 percent.
A scorching early May bank holiday and above-average temperatures throughout the month prompted Britons to splash the cash, delivering a welcome boost to beleaguered retailers after snowstorms hit sales in the first quarter and brought economic growth to a near standstill. Sales were further boosted by the May 19 wedding of Prince Harry which coincided with soccer's FA Cup Final.
From a year ago, retail sales increased 3.9 percent in May, well above the 2.4 percent forecast. Excluding fuel, annual growth was 4.4 percent.
The figures suggest the bounceback from weaker figures at the start of the year is continuing as households emerge from a year of shrinking real incomes after the vote to leave the European Union battered the pound and stoked inflation.
Over three months, sales gained 0.9 percent from the previous period, the ONS said. Retail spending is almost certain to contribute to the second quarter, barring a record slump in June.
Source : Bloomberg