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UK retail sales much worse than expected

Staff Writer |
UK retail sales shrank much more than expected in May, according to official data published on Thursday.

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Retail sales excluding automotive fuel fell 1.6% month-on-month in May, according to the Office for National Statistics, when a 0.9% decline had been expected after a revised 2.2% improvement the previous month.

Compared to May last year, retail sales were up only 0.6%, which was short of the consensus forecast for a 1.9% gain after a revised 4.6% increase from April.

Including auto fuel sales were down 1.2% on a monthly basis, versus a 0.8% estimate and after a 2.5% rise the prior month.

On a yearly basis retail sales including fuel were up 0.9% compared to the market's expectation of a 1.6% gain after a revised 4.2% improvement from April.

The UK retail sales, excluding auto fuel, contracted by 1.6%, worse than -1.0% expected by analysts and 2.0% printed a month earlier.

Sterling retreated to 1.2704 against the dollar after the release of the data.

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