In a latest sign of slow growth in 2018, the British Retail Consortium said today that the UK retailers suffered the sharpest drop in retail spending as it fell by 3.1 per cent year-on-year in April — the biggest decline since 1995.
Like-for-like retail sales fell 4.2 per cent year on year in April, from a 1.4 per rise in March.
“Even once we take account of these seasonal distortions, the underlying trend in sales growth is heading downwards,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson added.
Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics said: “The widely anticipated revival in growth in consumers’ spending is not emerging this year. While wages are no longer falling in real terms, households’ incomes were hit in April by another round of austerity measures and a rise in minimum pension contributions. In addition, the rise in Bank Rate in November has prompted households to take a more cautious approach to borrowing and has hit the housing market hard, depressing consumers’ confidence.”