Retail sales in the UK fell sharply in April
Valentina Romei in London
British retail sales fell the most in April, despite a jump in online sales as people remained indoors and insignificant stores were closed.
Retail sales in the UK fell by 18.1% in April compared to the previous month, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. This is the biggest drop since records began in 1996 and the dwarf’s 5.2% drop in March is itself a record low.
The drop is larger than the forecast for a contraction of 16 percent of economists polled by Reuters.
“The effects of Covid-1
Compared to the same month last year, sales decreased by 22.6 percent.
Online sales increased 18% in April compared to the previous month. The ratio spent online rose to its highest level in April 2020 – 30.7 percent. In April last year, the share was 19 percent.
Alcohol stores also reported 2.3% growth.
Sales of most other items fell, including a 50.2% drop in clothing in April compared to the previous month, after a drop of 34.9% in March.
Sales in fuel stores fell by a record 52 percent.
Separately, research firm GfK said British consumer confidence fell by one point to minus 34 in May, the lowest reading since 2009, despite easing the blockade.
“Consumer confidence remains battered and bruised, despite efforts to ease the restrictions on Covid-19,” said Joe Staton, GfK’s director of customer strategy. “As unemployment claims rise with the highest percentage of recorded data and warnings of a severe recession and possible tax increases, the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic to the UK’s economic landscape has been exposed.”