Sharp drop in retail sales
17 Apr 2003
The pattern of sales recorded by the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Sales Monitor for the month of March recorded a decrease in retail sales of 0.6% on a like-for-like basis, and a growth of 2.1% on a total basis, compared with a year earlier. The three-month trend rates of growth decreased from 2.5% in February to 1.6% in March for like-for-like sales, from 5.1% to 4.3% for total sales.
Bill Moyes, Director General of the BRC commented: "It's difficult to determine an absolute figure this month, due to the difference in timing of Easter. However, it's clear that the trend is moving downwards at a worrying rate. Retail is vital to the economy and if the trend in high street sales is not reversed, the Chancellor has no hope of achieving his optimistic growth forecasts. Brown needs to stimulate demand by pushing for America to reflate and persuading the British consumer that their financial future is underpinned by a sound domestic economy."