World Cup boosts May UK retail sales

image captionThe World Cup has triggered demand for new TV sets

UK retail sales rose strongly in May, with analysts citing the World Cup as the main reason for the pick-up.

Sales volumes rose by a bigger-than-expected 0.6% from April, helped by a 1.7% jump in household goods sales and a 1% increase in food sales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Analysts said sales of televisions and food ahead of the World Cup had boosted the figures.

However, the ONS revised down its sales growth figure for April.

It said retail sales failed to grow in April compared with the previous month, down from the 0.3% growth initially reported.

The ONS data showed that sales volumes in May were up 2.2% from the same point last year.

"It looks like consumer spending is on course to make a decent contribution to GDP growth in the second quarter," commented Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.

"The breakdown of the May sales data suggest that there was a boost from the World Cup as household goods sale... were likely lifted markedly by sales of widescreen TVs so that fans could enjoy the football more."

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