Shop sales volumes rose again in April despite mounting inflation and sluggish wage growth, according to official statistics.
Shop sales volumes rose again in April despite mounting inflation and sluggish wage growth.
Sales were up 0.3 per cent from March, or 1.8 per cent compared with April 2009, according to official seasonally adjusted data. However, if petrol is excluded, sales rose only 0.1 per cent over the month.
Jorg Radeke, an economist at the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), believes the data supports the picture of a sustained recovery in the retail sector, which he says is ‘remarkable’ considering low earnings growth and rising inflation.
Adds Radeke, ‘Going forward the retail industry is facing considerable challenges in the form of potential tax increases, rising cost of living and sluggish earnings growth. Against this backdrop, retailers are likely to struggle to keep the modest growth momentum seen over the last couple of months.’
The value of internet sales as a proportion of total retail sales excluding petrol hit 8.1 per cent in April, the highest share recorded to date.