By Lucy Hooker
Enterprise reporter, BBC Information
Consumers have been forking out on new outfits and different objects for having fun with the summer season climate, boosting gross sales general, newest retail figures present.
After the solar got here out within the second half of Might, gross sales volumes rose by a stronger than anticipated 0.3%, the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) stated.
On-line retailers and backyard centres did significantly effectively, the ONS stated.
Gas gross sales additionally rose in comparison with April, however folks purchased much less meals as costs continued to rise.
“Retail gross sales grew just a little in Might, with on-line retailers doing significantly effectively promoting outside items and summer season garments, because the solar started to shine,” Heather Bovill, senior statistician on the ONS stated.
“Backyard centres and DIY shops additionally noticed development, as the nice climate inspired folks to start out house and backyard enhancements.”
Meals gross sales fell 0.5% in Might. In addition to value pressures, that could possibly be because of the further financial institution vacation final month, the ONS stated, as extra folks ordered takeaways or went to the pub.
General customers are nonetheless shopping for barely lower than they have been earlier than the pandemic. However as a result of costs have risen, they’re spending considerably extra in whole.
Costs are nonetheless rising, though inflation – the speed at which they’re going up – has eased from over 10% at first of the yr to eight.7% in Might.
On Thursday, the Financial institution of England put rates of interest up by half a share level to five% in an try to dampen demand and convey down costs. Rates of interest have been rising since December 2021 however that doesn’t but appear to be having a huge impact on shopper spending.
“Retail gross sales within the UK have been stronger than anticipated which can partly justify the jumbo-sized rate of interest enhance from the Financial institution of England,” stated Neil Birrell, chief funding officer at Premier Miton Traders.
“It’s onerous to imagine that tighter coverage received’t begin having a major impression sooner relatively than later, which means the patron will react accordingly.”
The net and Excessive Avenue chocolate chain, Resort Chocolat, issued a revenue warning on Friday saying it anticipated to make a loss this yr and decrease than anticipated income in 2024.
The agency blamed “ongoing weak spot in shopper sentiment and persevering with inflationary pressures” for the shift.
RetailingInflationShoppingOffice for Nationwide Statistics
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