UK retail sales fell 1.4% in May, as food store sales volumes experienced the biggest monthly decline since June 2008, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The 1.4% decline in retail sales comes on the back of a 1.1% increase in April, driven by the extra bank holiday, the royal wedding and warmer weather. The ONS said feedback from retailers showed that the decline in May was a result of consumers cutting back due to the economic climate, for example increasing fuel prices and uncertainty over job prospects and pay. Within food stores, the value of sales fell by 3.2% in May compared to April, the largest decrease since 1988, while volume sales fell by 3.7% The ONS said that the 5.3% rise in estimated prices in food stores had led to a 3.5% fall in food store sales volumes in May compared to the previous year, the biggest monthly decline since June 2008.

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