ONS: Retail spending flat

UK retail sales stalled in April despite warmer weather boosting clothing sales, official data released to has shown.

ONS: Retail spending flat

The Office for National Statistics said sales in April were flat on March, and higher than the 0.3 per cent fall expected.

In the three months to April, sales increased by 1.8 per cent, with a record quarter for the online sector.

ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said three-month growth was strong, with warmer weather boosting sales.

Sales from online-only retailers rose 9.4 per cent over the three-month period - the highest three-month-on-three-month growth rate since records began, the ONS said, boosted by promotions and sales.

“Elsewhere, department stores continued to see their sales fall,” Ms Murphy said.

Department store sales fell by 0.5 per cent and those in household goods stores declined by 2.9 per cent.

Compared with a year earlier, sales were up by 5.2 per cent after a 6.7 per cent annual rise in March.

The ONS said anecdotal evidence from retailers suggested warm weather in April boosted sales over the period, which included Easter, while economists said the figures showed Brexit was not having an impact on spending.

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