Retail sales values, jumped 3.9% year-on-year in May as Brits prepared to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, however sales of clothing and footwear were down 1%. The official retail figures were released on Thursday by the Office for
National Statistics (ONS), which confirm that sales growth was significantly stronger in May than April, helped by the return of summer weather later in the month and the run-up to the Diamond Jubilee.
Retail Consortium Director General, Stephen Robertson, said: "The end of weeks of relentless rain and the build-up to the Jubilee gave a useful boost in May but retailers tell us the effect was largely confined to the final week of the month when the sun came out and so did shoppers.
"The seemingly shy sunshine, hardly seen since March, had created pent-up demand for summer goods which was finally unleashed. Modest sales of coats and carpets gave way to much better sales of T-shirts as interest finally turned outdoors.
"Retail competition has helped push inflation down to a two and a half-year low, which is a good sign that pressures on household budgets are easing, but incomes are still dropping in real terms and customers' underlying lack of spending power remains a big problem."
Image: Queen Elizabeth II