Easter fails to bring rise in sales for retailers
An early Easter and the bad weather that came with it left retailers suffering a second successive month of falling sales, official figures suggest.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the quantities bought in the UK retail industry in March decreased by 1.3% in February, on the back of a 0.4% decrease the previous month.
Year-on-year sales registered a 2.7% increase, down from 3.8% the previous month.
The ONS said average store prices, including petrol stations, fell by 3% in March, the 21st consecutive month of year-on-year decreases.
The amount spent in the retail industry decreased by 0.1% compared with March last year, and by 1.3% compared with February this year.
The value of online sales increased by 8.9% on a year ago but decreased by 0.5% compared with February.