Dow Jones Newswires: U.K. retail sales fall in May as cost of living climbs

U.K. retail sales declined in May due to lower food sales, in a further sign that consumers have pared back on spending amid an intensifying squeeze on household finances.

Retail sales volumes decreased 0.5% in May compared to April, the third fall in four months, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast retail sales would fall by 0.7%.

In April, retail sales rose by a revised 0.4%, less than the previously reported 1.4% increase.

The fall in sales volumes was due to food stores, where sales fell by 1.6% on month. Reduced spending in food stores seemed to be linked to the impact of rising food prices and the cost of living, the ONS said.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at

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