May retail sales impacted by political and economic uncertainty
UK retail sales declined by 3% on a like-for-like basis last month as the country’s political and economic uncertainty took its toll.
The figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG also show that sales were down 2.7% on a total basis.
When Easter distortions were excluded, the drop in total sales marked the worst decline since January 1995 when the BRC began its monthly retail sales monitor.
Helen Dickinson BRC chief executive, said: “With the biggest decline in retail sales on record, the risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase.
“While May 2018 offered almost unbroken sunshine, topped off by the run up to the World Cup and the marriage of Meghan and Harry, May 2019 delivered political and economic uncertainty.
“Food sales dropped for the first time since June 2016, with further declines in clothing, footwear and outdoor goods.”
The BRC’s figures also show that total sales of non-food items fell by 1.1% in the three months to May. Over the same period food sales edged up 1.9%.
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