Date Published: 24-06-2014

Strong sales of replica football shirts last month as the World Cup approached were not enough to save British retail sales from their first drop since January, official data showed on Thursday.


The dip in sales was expected and followed a stretch of robust demand. Sales for the three months to May compared with the same period a year ago rose by the largest amount in nearly a decade.

Retail sales volumes dropped 0.5 percent on the month and grew 3.9 percent on the year, slowing from April’s 10-year high of 6.5 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Economists had expected retail sales to slip in May after growth in April was boosted by a late Easter holiday, but downward revisions to previous months’ data meant that the annual rise was a little less than the 4.3 percent forecast.

Still, analysts said the overall picture was one of healthy demand for British retail goods.