UK retail sales growth slowed last month due to an absence in warm weather, affecting demand for newer apparel. Fashion sales were at the lowest level in 9 months but supermarkets showed some sign of improvement according to industry data released this morning.
Total British retail sales were up 1.1% in May compared to a year earlier, when they had risen 2%, show the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.
The BRC said furniture sales were the strongest since July of last year, excluding distortions caused by the timing of Easter. The increase reflected a recent pick-up in Britain's housing market which last year lost some of its edge.
"With Easter distortions behind us, May's retail sales figures were disappointingly flat," David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, which sponsors the survey.
On a so-called like-for-like basis - a measure which strips out changes in floor space and is favoured by equity analysts - retail spending was unchanged in May, compared with a 2.4% annual fall in April.