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High street sales climb despite nerves over EU referendum

By Josie Clarke

High street sales surged in May despite uncertainty over the EU referendum.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the quantity of retail sales increased by 0.9% compared with April, and was up by 6% on the same time last year.

Average store prices, including petrol stations, were down 2.8% on a year ago, and the amount spent was up 3.1% over the same period and by 1.3% compared with the month before.

The value of online sales increased by 21.5% on a year ago, and by 6.4% on April.

The above-expectation figures showed consumers were paying little heed to warnings that the economy could nosedive following a Brexit vote next week, analysts said.

They also warned that strong sales had only been made possible by rapid price cuts.

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