By Lucy Hooker
Enterprise reporter, BBC Information
Buyers 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) mentioned.
On-line retailers and backyard centres did notably nicely, the ONS mentioned.
Gas gross sales additionally rose in comparison with April, however folks purchased much less meals as costs continued to rise.
“Retail gross sales grew slightly in Might, with on-line outlets doing notably nicely promoting out of doors items and summer season garments, because the solar started to shine,” Heather Bovill, senior statistician on the ONS mentioned.
“Backyard centres and DIY shops additionally noticed progress, as the great climate inspired folks to begin house and backyard enhancements.”
Meals gross sales fell 0.5% in Might. In addition to worth pressures, that may very well be as a result of further financial institution vacation final month, the ONS mentioned, as extra folks ordered takeaways or went to the pub.
Total customers are nonetheless shopping for barely lower than they had 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 the beginning of the yr to eight.7% in Might.
On Thursday, the Financial institution of England put rates of interest up by half a proportion 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 big effect on shopper spending.
“Retail gross sales within the UK had been stronger than anticipated which can partly justify the jumbo-sized rate of interest enhance from the Financial institution of England,” mentioned Neil Birrell, chief funding officer at Premier Miton Traders.
“It’s exhausting to imagine that tighter coverage gained’t begin having a big impression sooner relatively than later, that means the buyer will react accordingly.”
The net and Excessive Road chocolate chain, Resort Chocolat, issued a revenue warning on Friday saying it anticipated to make a loss this yr and decrease than anticipated earnings 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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