British retail sales plunged unexpectedly last month, hurt by an earlier Easter this year, although the underlying trend appears to be improving, the British Retail Consortium said on Wednesday.
Sales values fell 2.2 percent from a year earlier on a like-for-like measure, which strips out changes in stores’ floor space and is favored by company analysts. That was the steepest drop in a year and confounded analysts’ forecasts for a 1.8 percent rise.
The total value of sales dipped 0.6 percent in April, breaking an almost year-long run of growth.
Easter fell in April last year but in March this year, making for an unfavorable annual comparison in sales.
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