Retail sales growth was flat last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported.

The official data compiler found that month-on-month sales growth was unchanged at 0%. 

While automotive fuel and non-food store sales volumes rose by 3.2% and 0.5% over the month, that was offset by falls at food stores and among non-store retailers of 0.7% and 1.5%.

On a quarterly basis, sales volumes rose by 1.9% in the three months to March 2024 versus the previous three months, which the ONS said followed “low sales volumes over the Christmas period for retailers”.


PwC industry leader for consumer markets Lisa Hooker said: “What is clear is that the first quarter of the year has been disappointing for many retailers.

“Lower inflation and the first 2% cut to National Insurance, which was felt in January’s pay packets, has yet to translate into a sustained recovery in spending.

“Going forward, we are optimistic that the picture will improve from April onwards, particularly if inflation hits the Bank of England’s 2% target as many economists predict.

“The psychological impact of that, combined with rises in the National Living Wage, state pension and benefits, plus the second cut in National Insurance, might provide weary consumers with the fillip they need to start spending again after a decidedly slow start to 2024.”