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UK retail sales increase by 1.4 per cent in May

Welcome news after April's 2.3 per cent slump.

Good news for UK retailers, as the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed improvement in sales in May. Boosted by discounts, retail sales increased by 1.4 per cent, after a dismal April in which the figure slipped 2.3 per cent. The estimated all-retail sales values index in the UK increased year on year by 3.3 per cent.

Sales volumes increased by an estimated 2.4 per cent, compared with May 2011.

Food stores sales volumes increased by 1 per cent on the year, while predominantly non-food stores sales volumes increased by 3.3 per cent.

Sales volumes for non-specialised and household goods stores increased by 11.3 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively, while textile, clothing and footwear stores sales volumes declined by 1 per cent compared to May last year.

Store-price inflation slowed to 0.9 per cent, its lowest annual rate since October 2009. Sales volumes in non-specialised stores were estimated to have increased by 11.3 per cent compared with May 2011.

Between 29 April and 26 May 2012, the total amount spent in the retail sector was estimated at £26.4bn, non-seasonally adjusted, up from £26bn in April 2012 and £25.6bn in May 2011. This equates to an average weekly spend of £6.6bn in May 2012.

The estimated average weekly sales were £0.4bn in May; of this, 61.2 per cent of sales (£220.8m) were made via the internet.

Non-store retail sales volumes increased by 14.9 per cent in May compared to same period last year.

The non-seasonally adjusted internet average weekly sales values were estimated to be £510.9m in May, an increase of 21.6 per cent compared to same period last year.