UK retail sales dip as lockdown easing allows socializing

LONDON (AP) — Retail sales in Britain slipped back in May as people ventured out to spend money at restaurants and pubs instead. The Office of National Statistics said Friday that retail sales during May were 1.4% lower than the previous month, when they surged 9.2% after shops selling nonessential items were allowed to reopen in April after a months-long shutdown. The office says biggest downward contribution to the May figures came from food sales, which fell by 5.7% as restrictions were eased to allow pubs and restaurants to serve customers indoors. Analysts said the decline doesn’t represent the start of a slowdown in Britain’s from its biggest economic contraction in more than 300 years.