British retail sales drop in May

British retail sales shrank 0.5 percent in May compared with the level in April, official data showed on Thursday.

Retail sales, a key indicator of household spending confidence, also rose 3.9 percent compared with May 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Market expectations had been for a heavier monthly drop of 0.7 percent but a larger annual gain of 4.0 percent, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.