And Another Massive Warning Comes From The UK

london

Photo: TJ Morris via flickr

They just keep piling up.Retail sales in the UK appear to be in a tailspin.

The British Retail Consortium, says sales in March fell at their hardest level in 16 years.

From the announcement:

UK retail sales values were down 1.9% on a total basis from March 2010, when sales had risen 6.6%, boosted by Good Friday and Easter Saturday falling in the March trading period. On a like-for-like basis, sales were 3.5% lower, against a 4.4% increase in March 2010.

Like-for-like food sales fell well below their year-earlier level and non-food sales showed an even larger decline. Consumers’ underlying uncertainty about jobs and incomes, as well as the later Easter, hit both. Big-ticket home and furniture purchases suffered most and were often promotion-led.

Non-food non-store (internet, mail-order and phone) sales growth fell further in March. Sales were 7.5% higher than a year ago, the smallest increase since the series began in October 2008 and much weaker than the 10.4% in February.

Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said:
“This is the worst drop in total sales since we first collected these figures in 1995. Non-food retailers were particularly hard-hit. This is strong evidence of the pressure customers and traders are under. This year’s later Easter is a factor but this fall goes way beyond anything that can be explained by that alone.

Thank you austerity

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