LONDON (Reuters) – UK retail sales rebounded in April after contracting the previous month, official statistics showed on Friday.

These sales rose 0.5% last month while economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of only 0.3%, after a 1.2% decline in March (revised figure).

On an annual basis, sales continue to show a contraction of 3.0%. The consensus gave them down 2.8%.

“Retail sales increased, partially rebounding from poor weather in March, with jewelry stores, sporting goods retailers and major retailers all having a good month,” said Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ‘ONS.

In detail, however, food sales declined by 2.7% per year, suggesting that inflation is having an impact on household spending, although the decline in food sales was less pronounced than in previous months.

According to data published on Wednesday, consumer price inflation in the United Kingdom slowed less than expected in April (+8.7% year on year) and core inflation (+6.8% year on year) accelerated to its highest level in 31 years, which could lead the Bank of England to raise its key rate further in a month.

(Reportage William Schomberg; Claude Chendjou, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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