The pound is up after retail sales rose in May

Alys Key
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The pound was up this morning after retail sales figures showed positive growth in May.

The quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 1.3 per cent on the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Year-on-year, the increase was 3.9 per cent, compared to 1.4 per cent in April.

The pound was quoted 0.4 per cent higher against the dollar and 0.2 per cent up on the euro following the release.

The improved figures were put down to warmer weather in May, as well as the Royal Wedding celebrations.

This chimed with previous data such as Kantar's sales figures for the grocery sector, which also clocked a royal wedding boost.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, warned that it was too soon to say if the overall picture was positive.

"The fun and games has continued with UK retail sales, which defied predictions of doom to rise well ahead of expectations, bolstering GBP against USD after its recovery yesterday, but the comparisons with 2017 do not bode well. Then too we had a surge towards the end of the first half, before the wheels came off later in the year.

"If wages are picking up then perhaps this can be avoided, but it is too early yet to crack open the champagne."

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