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UK Retail Sales Plunge: Report

The decline is expected to continue into May.

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PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

UK retail sales experienced a sharp decline in April falling to -44 percent from 2 percent in March – and is the worst April for sales since 2020, according to a new report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Distributive Trades Survey.  

The decline was sharper than expected, and is expected to continue into May, though at a slower rate with sales under the seasonal norm at -25 percent. 

With Easter early this year, the report found that UK retailers felt the decline – a majority said sales for the month were below the average for this time of year. 

“April’s sharp fall in retail sales was likely related to the earlier timing of Easter this year, so we should take it with a pinch of salt,” Alpesh Paleja, CBI lead economist, said.

“That being said, conditions do remain challenging on the ground. April’s fall in sales was faster than expected and retailers aren’t overly hopeful about the month ahead.”

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