Retail sales improve from record lows in April but shops still suffering – ONS

Retailers saw a much-needed boost in sales last month compared with the record lows in April as lockdown turned thriving high streets into ghost towns, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Sales volumes in May jumped 12% compared with the previous month, although they were still down 13.1% versus February, before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt. However, fuel sales remain 42.5% lower than February as governments across the UK continue to encourage people to maintain social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel. Oil prices have also tanked compared with a year ago as demand dries up.