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UK Retail Sales Fall For Second Month

UK retail sales declined for the second straight month in May, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday.

Retail sales including auto fuel fell 0.5 percent month-on-month in May, as expected, following a 0.1 percent drop. This was the second consecutive decrease in sales volume.

Excluding auto fuel, sales decreased 0.3 percent on month, the same pace of decline as seen in April. Sales were forecast to drop 0.4 percent.

Food store sales slid 0.1 percent and non-food store sales decreased 0.5 percent largely due to weak clothing demand, the ONS reported.

On a yearly basis, growth in sales including auto fuel eased to 2.3 percent from 5.1 percent. Likewise, sales excluding auto fuel rose 2.2 percent, slower than the 4.7 percent increase seen in April.

Economists had forecast retail sales including auto fuel to grow 2.7 percent and that excluding auto fuel to climb 2.5 percent.

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