Retail sales dropped at their fastest monthly pace in more than two years in April. According to the the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail sales volumes fell 2.3 percent on the month – its biggest drop since January 2010 and more than twice as fast as forecast. April’s fall comes after sales had risen by 2 percent in March.
On the year, sales fell 1.1 percent, while economists forecasted an annual rise of 1.0 percent.
The ONS said, the monthly decline was driven by a record drop in fuel sales. Sales of fuel were down by 13.2 percent in April, following panic buying of fuel in March ahead of a threatened tanker driver strike. That had resulted in petrol stations being unable to restock in time in April.
Furthermore, sales of clothing and footwear were affected by April’s record rainfall. The sales fell at its sharpest monthly pace since June 2008.
April’s sales values in predominantly food stores increased by just 0.1 percent compared with the year before, the smallest year-on-year growth since records began in January 1989.
With inflation still outpacing wage increases and affecting consumersâ€™ confidence, many Britons remain reluctant to increase their household spending.
Source: Reuters 
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