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NATIONAL NEWS

23/05/2012

ONS Reveal Fall In UK Sales

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) retail sales volumes fell by 2.3% in April, largely because of a record fall in petrol sales.

In the aftermath of March’s petrol panic buying sales of fuel were down by 13.2% in April, and the months record rainfall also affected sales of clothing and footwear.

Stripping out the impact of the fall in petrol sales, total retail sales volumes were down 1% between March and April, analysts had previously forecast a rise of 1%.

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Philip Shaw, from Investec, said exceptional factors made the figures difficult to read: "The headline number is very very weak indeed, but that's mainly due to the effect of lower fuel sales over the threatened strike period. Nonetheless, stripping that out, there is still a big drop in sales, which is probably weather-related.

"So it's very difficult to get a gauge of underlying strength of High Street activity from these numbers, given so very big distorting factors."

(H)

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ONS Reveal Fall In UK Sales - According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) retail sales volumes fell by 2.