© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are seen walking near Bullring shopping centre, owned by mall operator Hammerson, in Birmingham, Britain, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
LONDON (Reuters) -British retail sales volumes fell by a monthly 0.5% in May and an increase in April was revised down sharply, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday in a fresh sign of how surging inflation is hitting the economy.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.7% monthly fall in retail sales in May.
The Office for National Statistics said it now estimated that sales volumes in April rose by 0.4% from March, a much smaller increase than the originally reported 1.4% increase.
“Retail sales fell in May driven by a decline in food sales,” Heather Bovill, deputy director for surveys and economic indicators at the ONS, said.
“Feedback from supermarkets suggested customers were spending less on their food shop, because of the rising cost of living.”