Weekly retail sales up in March

22 April 2005
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics revealed that weekly retail sales in March were up in most sectors.

Based on non-seasonally adjusted data, the average weekly value of retail sales last month was £4,450 million, 3.0 per cent higher than in January and 3.9 per cent higher than February.

Food sales were up, with non-seasonally adjusted food sales between January and March increasing by 4.3 per cent on last year.

Other commodities that registered an increase include clothing and footwear (three per cent higher) and household goods (two per cent higher).

However, the overall volume of goods sold in March fell by 0.1 per cent on February's figures, particularly in the household goods and non-store retailers sectors.

This may bring good news about interest rates, as the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England has already identified a consumer slowdown as a risk to the economy and might therefore maintain interest rates at 4.75 per cent in the coming months.

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