The Queen will have private chat with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness
UK retail sales volume grew by 1.4 percent in May month-on-month, beating expectations as warm weather, an extra day's trading, and the impending Queen's Diamond Jubilee helped loosen consumers' wallets.
The data was released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Analysts had been expecting 1.2 percent.
"Patience is required for a full recovery of the sector. Until then, more bankruptcies are likely while the languishing economy shakes out vulnerable retailers," Tim Ohlenburg, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said.
While the Jubilee helped provide a retail sales lift ahead of the event, as revellers bought up bunting, barbecue food, and booze and a scheduled bank holiday was moved over the month, the Bank of England has said the June celebrations will actually be an overall 0.5 percent drag on UK GDP.
April retail sales had plunged by 2.3 percent month-on-month, the sharpest fall for two years, after petrol panic buying at the end of March inflated the comparative data.
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Consumers are feeling the pinch on their finances after as sluggish wage growth is continually outpaced by inflation, and the looming eurozone crisis, which could plunge the world into financial chaos at any moment, continues to dampen household confidence.
UK inflation is now 2.8 percent, having fallen all the way from a 5.2 percent peak in September 2011 to a near three year low.
This fall has given the Bank of England more room in its £325bn quantitative easing (QE) programme, which hit its value target in May.
The Bank is expected to add another £50bn of QE in the coming months in a fresh bid to get the economy moving.
It has already announced two credit easing schemes which sees it offer billions of pounds of low-cost loans to banks in order to free up affordable lending to businesses and consumers.
Growth forecasts for the UK economy from the Bank were slashed by a third earlier in the year, to just 0.8 percent for the whole of 2012.
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