Retail sales fell by more than expected in March after heavy snowfall deterred shoppers from venturing out to buy clothes and homeware.
According to official figures, sales volumes declined by 0.7% last month despite a near 1% rise in food sales as department stores and homeware retailers suffered from the cold weather.
James Knightley, UK economist at ING bank, said although sales were weaker than expected, they offered “a little more reassurance” that the UK would avoid falling into its third recession since the financial crisis began.
“Nonetheless, yesterday’s employment numbers were not great and softer global figures still lead us to believe that the Bank of England will come in with more stimulus, potentially as soon as the May meeting when they produce new economic forecasts,” he said.
First-quarter growth figures for the UK are released in a week, and economists remain split on whether they will show an unprecedented triple-dip downturn.
via The Guardian