UK retail sales dip in May as shoppers flock to restaurants

UK retail sales dip in May as shoppers flock to restaurants

THE WHAT? UK retail sales fell unexpectedly in May, according to a report published by the Financial Times, as consumers spent more on going out than staying in.

THE DETAILS The Office for National Statistics data revealed a dip of 1.4 percent, versus the expected 1.6 percent rise. The decline was driven by food stores, down 5.7 percent, while alcohol and tobacco purveyors saw sales tumble 8.4 percent. Non-food stores, including chemists, reported strong growth.

In contrast, sales rose 10 percent in April after non-essential retail was given the green light to reopen. Online now accounts for 28.5 percent of all sales.

THE WHY? Dampened grocery sales reflect the reopening of indoor hospitality on May 17, the Financial Times said.

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