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Retail Sales Stagnate In Britain In March; Oil Price Jumps After Israeli Strike On Iran – Business Live

British retail sale stagnateRetail sales across Britain stalled in March, as the cost of living squeeze continues to hit spending, new data shows.

The Office for National Statistics has just reported that British retail sales volumes stagnated in March, following modest growth of just 0.1% in February (revised up from stagnation).

That’s weaker than expected; economists polled by Reuters had expected sales growth of 0.3% in March.

While spending on motor fuel and non-food goods rose, there was a drop in spending at department stores, on food, and online.

Photograph: ONSOn an annual basis, sales volumes rose 0.8% over the year to March 2024, weaker than the 1% expected.

That leaves them 1.2% below their pre-Covid-19 level in February 2020.

ONS senior statistician Heather Bovill says:

“Retail sales registered no growth in March. Hardware stores, furniture shops, petrol stations and clothing stores all reported a rise in sales. However, these gains were offset by falling food sales and in department stores where retailers say higher prices hit trading.

“Looking at the longer-term picture, across the latest three months retail sales increased after a poor Christmas.”

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