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Financial News: UK Retail Sales Fall At Record Pace

UK Retail Sales Fall At Record Pace

04/24/2020 - 02:29:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK retail sales declined at the fastest pace since the series began as many stores ceased trading following the official guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Retail sales volume, including automotive fuel, declined 5.1 percent month-on-month in March, following a 0.3 percent drop in February. Economists had forecast a 4.9 percent decrease.

This was the biggest fall on record. Clothing stores logged the sharpest fall.

Food stores and non-store retailing were the only sectors to show growth in the monthly volume series in March, with food stores seeing the strongest growth on record, at 10.4 percent.

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales fell 3.7 percent on month after easing 0.5 percent in February. However, this was slower than the expected 4 percent decrease.

On a yearly basis, retail sales were down 5.8 percent following a nil growth in the previous month. Economists had forecast an annual 5 percent fall.

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales volume decreased 4.1 percent annually, in contrast to February's 0.4 percent rise. But this was slower than the expected fall of 4.7 percent.

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