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Rise in retail sales

Rise in retail sales

Category: Money

Updated: 21/05/2009
First Published: 21/05/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Month-on-month UK retail sales increased by 0.9 per cent in April, compared with a 1.1 per cent improvement in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Despite falling from the previous month, the figures were still better than had been predicted, almost doubling predictions made by analysts and experts.

Meanwhile, sales rose three per cent compared with April 2008, the highest year-on-year figure seen since August last year.

A rise of 7.2 per cent in sales by predominantly food stores was a key factor in the annual increase. Predominantly non-food stores experienced a slight drop of 0.9 per cent in year-on-year sales.

The data backs up the recent findings of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which found consumers are still spending despite the challenging economic climate.

However, despite the encouraging signs, the BRC's director general, Stephen Robertson, warned it was too early to say whether a corner towards sustained improvement had actually been turned.

"Fundamental conditions for customers and retailers are still tough," he commented.

"Unemployment is set to grow for the rest of the year and the increasing uncertainty about job prospects will hold back spending for some time."

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