Retail sales pick up in April, trend of decline

The Office for National Statistics warned on Friday that UK retail sales resumed in April, despite record inflationary pressures on the household budget, but the long-term trend remains downward.

The ONS said in a statement that retail sales grew by 1.4% in April after a 1.2% decline in March (revised figure) and were up 4.1% from their pre-pandemic levels. ,But the numbers still show a steady declining trend over the long term“, ONS Deputy Director of Surveys and Economic Indicators Heather Boville said on Twitter. In the period from February to April, sales volume fell 0.3% compared to the previous three months, which”Downward trend continues since summer 2021“, according to the press release of the ONS.

Significant growth in sales despite 9% inflation in April

Inflation in the United Kingdom reached 9% in April, mainly due to energy prices, fueling the cost of living crisis that particularly affected the most modest households.

Still, sales growth in April”surprisingly high“That suggests according to him,” notes Nicholas Farr of Capital Economics.that the cost of living crisis hasn’t affected consumer spending and means the economy may have a bit more momentum than we thought“But the worst is yet to come, according to Samuel Tombs, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, for whom the tax hike in April and the energy cap won’t really be realized until May,”Since most of the people do not get paid till the end of the month and the bills will be paid gradually throughout the monthNext. Data from the Statistical Institute shows that sales growth in April was driven notably by increased spending on alcohol and tobacco, but also by growth in online clothing sales. After falling 4.2% in March Automotive fuel volumes also rose 1.4% in April – with a record increase in petrol prices impacting sales.

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