Retail shopping is fully restored to February levels, but the consumer confidence is still negative. Does it means that depressed shoppers buy stuff out of the misery?
Sales in British stores were significantly higher last month. More shops were able to open their doors due to the relaxation of COVID measures. As a result, volume sales were 13.9 percent higher than in May, reports ONS statistics agency.
Sales also increased by 12 percent in May. UK retail sales, if fuel sales are included, are only 0.6 percent below February levels. That was the last month that the British economy was not affected by the coronavirus outbreak. If fuel sales are not counted, sales are even higher than in February.
The increase was noticeable in all types of shops except food vendors. During the quarantine, those chains benefited from the fact that the catering industry remained closed and still have higher sales than before the crisis.
British consumer confidence remained unchanged at -27 this month. Economists had generally predicted a slight improvement.