News: UK retail sales fall due to wet weather and low fuel sales

May 23, 2012

business

 

It has just been announced that retail sales in the UK fell by 2.3% in April according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

sales via Alan Cleaver

The fall has been attributed to a record drop in fuel sales which were down 13.2% in April.

This has been explained with the panic-buying which took place in March and petrol stations struggling to re-stock. Another reasoning for the drop in sales is due to the poor weather which was keeping us indoors rather than going out to the shops.

The figures are less positive than those results found in the CBI survey completed by businesses.

It is mainly the clothing retailers who have really lost out this month as shoppers wait for the sun before purchasing their summer wardrobe. Clothing sales fell 5.2% in April, their lowest level since June 2008.

The news doesn’t get any better either as inflation is still outpacing wage increases meaning many of us are reluctant to increase our spending.

Also this week, Christine Legarde has been speaking out about the Chancellor’s osterity measures stating that time is running out and it maybe time for Plan B.

She suggested temporary tax cuts to increase family budgets and a reduction in VAT to increase demand in spending, stating: “There is no case for delay and there can be no more excuses.”

The one piece of good news was that there was a 1.4% increase in non-store retailing, which includes internet sales. However this also means that there has been a decline in shopper numbers with the number of shoppers in town centres falling 16.6% compared with last year.

With the UK back in a recession, how long do you think it will be until the coalition change their strategy in order to promote growth and increase spending? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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