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UK retail sales fall 1.4% in May

One-off factors saw retail sales increase in April, but drop in May.

Official figures have shown that UK retail sales fell by 1.4% in May, after a rise in April helped by the royal wedding.

Sales in April rose by 1.1% in the month before, showing a sudden boost due to one-off factors such as the timing of Easter and bank holidays.

According to the ONS, analysts predicted sales figures to be better for May, and half of all spending is now on food and fuel.

Food sales also plummeted down by 3.5% in May, marking the biggest monthly decline in food store sales since June 2008.

Tesco and Sainsbury's warned that the increase in fuel prices was leaving less money for people to spend.

Brian Hillliard, chief UK economist at Societe Generale said that "surveys hadn't prepared us for something quite this bad."