Retail sales rebound after World Cup boost

RETAIL sales bounced back in May – fuelled by warmer weather and TVs for the World Cup according to official figures.

The British Retail Consortium said sales last month was 0.8 per cent higher than a year ago on a like-for-like basis, a big improvement on the 2.3 per cent decline recorded in April.

Total sales, which include new floorspace, rose three per cent on the year, compared with April's fall of 0.2 per cent.

The BRC said warm weather at the end of the month had increased sales of clothing, while discounting had boosted sales of televisions ahead of the World Cup.

However, Britons continued to be reluctant to splash out on so-called “big-ticket” household items amid uncertainty about the scale of public spending cuts and tax rises that the government will enact to cut borrowing.

BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said: "Consumer confidence has clearly improved since last year's lows. But there's still plenty of uncertainty, which is making customers nervous about buying expensive goods, such as furniture, despite widespread reductions."