U.K. retail sales fall 1.4% in March, a bigger drop than expected


By Nihad Ahmed

U.K. retail sales fell more sharply in March as looser Covid-19 restrictions led to a decline in online shopping while a surge in petrol and diesel prices reduced automotive fuel sales.

Retail sales volumes last month weakened by 1.4% from February, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast retail sales would fall by 0.2%.

Retail sales fell by a revised 0.5% in February, more than the 0.3% decline previously reported.

The largest contribution to the fall came from non-store retailing in which sales volumes fell by 7.9% over the month following a fall of 6.9% in February, the statistics office said.

Compared with a year earlier, March retail sales were up 0.9%. Economists had expected a rise of 2.8%.

Write to Nihad Ahmed at nihad.ahmed@wsj.com

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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