Warm weather and Royal Wedding celebrations united to create a sunny spell of sales for retailers in May, new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggests.
The total quantity bought in May increased by 1.3% on April, while year-on-year growth was 3.9%.
The amount spent also grew by 1.6% on April and by 6.3% year on year.
The amount spent in food stores specifically grew by 0.5 percentage points between April and May and by two percentage points year-on-year.
The stats also showed a surge in online food sales, with a 20.7% jump year-on-year, and a 2.5% increase between April and May 2018.
Commenting on the retail sales figures, British Retail Consortium (BRC) head of retail insights and analytics Rachel Lund said: “Consistent with the figures released by the BRC earlier this month, official figures confirmed that May was a good month both on the high street and online.
“The arrival of a consistent spell of summery weather unlocked latent demand for summer wardrobes and outdoor goods. This comes as a welcome sign for retailers that shoppers are still willing to spend, however, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.
“The economic environment remains tough for both consumers and retailers alike and is likely to remain so for some months to come.”