UK retail sales up in May

<p>May saw retail sales rise in the UK.</p>

Retail sales in the UK saw a strong rise last month, according to the release of new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Sales rose 2.1 per cent in May from the month before, while the ONS also revealed that they were up 1.9 per cent from a year earlier too.

Supermarket discounts helped to boost food sales, with a 3.5 per cent rise in May on the previous month's data revealed by the ONS.

High Street sales fell 1.1 per cent in April, with bad weather blamed for having discouraged shoppers from spending their money.

Kate Davies from the ONS told BBC News that "promotions" had helped to boost retail sales in the UK last month.

Commenting on the figures, Philip Rush of Nomura said: "It's surprisingly positive – even stronger than we expected."

David Tinsley, UK economist at BNP Paribas, added the data is consistent with "a fairly solid quarterly GDP figure for the second quarter."

The UK's economy expanded by just 0.3 per cent in the first three months of the year.

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