Retail sales plunge as shoppers shun clothes and shoes
Retail sales fell at the fastest rate in over four years this month, adding to concerns that the services sector is suffering a slowdown.
The CBI said shoppers stayed away from the high street as cold weather reduced demand for summer ranges, and they bought fewer clothes, shoes and household goods than a year ago.
Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's director of economics, said: 'Cold weather put a chill in sales of spring and summer ranges with a reported dip in retail sales in the year to April, but with the near-term outlook for household spending holding up, the sector expects a modest rise in sales next month. However, with margins remaining tight within the sector, retailers will continue to operate in a fiercely competitive environment for some time.'
Only 22% of the 117 companies surveyed by the CBI reported a rise in sales compared with April last year, while 36% said sales were lower. This gave a resulting balance of -13%, the weakest figure since January 2012 and down from 7% last month.
Note: News bulletin content has been provided by a third-party and is not the opinion of Santander.
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