U.K. Retail Sales Rise Than Expected in April
The U.K. retail sales rose more than expected in April despite the cold weather.
Sales surged 1.3 percent compared with March report that was revised to 0.5 percent decline from the previous 1.3 percent, according to the office for National Statistics (ONS).
Food sales rose 0.1 percent, while non-food sales rose 2.5 percent. In total, retail sales excluding auto fuel increased by 1.5 percent. More than forecast.
ONS attributed the drop in demand for summer and spring clothes in March to the cold weather, while the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sees an imbalance economy, the organization said the rise in April’s sales was good.
“Clothing stores remain the main drag on growth in the retail sector, with sales hampered by unseasonal weather. However… sales increased in April compared with March as lower prices boosted sales,” ONS statistician Melanie Richard said.
Retail sales account for about 6 percent of the national gross domestic products and contributed 0.9 percent of the first quarter GDP. Prices at gas stations and stores plunged 0.2 percent on a monthly basis and 2.8 percent year-on-year.
The numbers show a stronger recovery than recently suggested by economists.