Retail sales in April grew at their slowest rate since January 2010 due to tough comparitives as last year’s sales were boosted by an exceptionally warm Easter and the Royal Wedding.
Revenues increased 0.4% by value compared to April last year, the Office for National Statistics said today. Value dropped by 2.8% compared to March. Sales volumes dropped 1.1% compared to last April – the largest fall in sales volume year on year since August 2011. Month-on-month volume decreased 2.3%.
Fashion and footwear volumes were down 7.5% compared to the year before while value slipped 5.5%.
Sales value at predominantly food stores increased by 0.1% year-on-year compared with April 2011 - the slowest year-on-year growth since January 1989. Volume dropped 3.5%.
The ONS said the drop in sales volumes in the food store sector was compared to tough comparitives last April when sales volumes increased as a result of the Royal Wedding and warm weather triggering a rise in retail sales.
Online sales jumped 18.1% compared with April 2011, with the internet now accounting for 8.5% of all retail sales values, excluding automotive fuel.
Matt Piner, lead consultant at Conlumino, said: “With the heady highs of the good weather, Royal Wedding and extra bank holiday last year, it is no wonder there has been no growth in 2012.”
He added: “The rain undoubtedly played a role, particularly in keeping people away from the high streets, but post-budget gloom, headlines confirming a return to recession and the ongoing squeeze on people’s finances are a better reflection of the sort of underlying factors which are at the crux of the anaemic spending.”