April retail sales fall “off a cliff” amid record decline

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Retail sales growth fell “off a cliff” in April after a record decline, thanks to the timing of Easter and its impact on consumer spending.According to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for the month of April, UK retail sales went down 4.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis compared with April 2017.On a total basis, sales declined 3.1 per cent in April year-on-year – the sharpest decline recorded since the monthly sales monitor started in January 1995. However, the monitor indicated that April’s figures were distorted by the timing of Easter this year as shoppers did much of their stocking up in March.“April’s figures show retail sales growth falling off a cliff, with sales down 3.1 per cent on last year, but we must exercise caution and remember that the timing of Easter makes meaningful month-on-month comparisons difficult,” KPMG head of retail Paul Martin.

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