May food sales up: Office for National Statistics

Food sales rose in May according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), ahead of the non-food sector performance.

The 1% rise on the previous month accounted for an overall increase of 0.6%, with zero growth in non-food, the ONS reported.

The performance is in stark contrast to the previous months, with the figures from March to May showing sales in predominantly food stores decreased by 0.9% while predominantly non-food stores sales increased by 1.9%.

This sudden rise in food sales has been hailed by some experts as signs of the World Cup effect. According to Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, "The breakdown of the May sales data suggests that there was a boost from the World Cup."

However, Vicky Redwood, UK economist at Capital Economics said: "With consumer incomes about to be hit by tax rises and cuts in public sector employment and wages, we doubt that this resilience will last."

>> Beef sales rise defies poor New Year retail market

>> Short-lived sales boost

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