UK retail and online sales hit record levels in April
New figures from the British Retail Consortium reveal that signs look good for the UK economy. In April, the country saw the best 3-month average sales growth since June 2014.
Retail sales fell by 2.4% on a like-for-like basis from April 2014, when they had increased 4.2% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were down 1.3%, against last year's 5.7% rise. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 0.6%. However, the figures are negatively distorted by the inclusion of the build-up to Easter in March this year against April last year. The 3-month average, which removes the distorting effect of Easter, showed the strongest underlying growth since last June, the BRC said.
Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "April witnessed a solid performance for fashion and beauty retailers; particularly welcome following a disappointing Autumn/Winter season. While the early Easter this year heavily distorted April's figures, across all categories, we see the best three month average year-on-year growth since June of last year."
Online retail sales in April saw the best growth in six months, up 15.4% for non-food products. It's the best growth since October 2014 and is ahead of the 3-month and 12-month averages of 12.0% and 12.5%, respectively. Fashion did especially well - clothing sales grew at the fastest rate since records began and footwear achieved its best performance since December 2012.
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