Fashion retail still in recovery modeMonday, 26 April 2010
Sales so far this year have been very volatile from month to month, with January seeing a 2.3 per cent drop from December, as heavy snow and the return of VAT to 17.5 per cent put off shoppers.
February reversed much of that weakness with a sharp 2 per cent bounce back in sales, but March looked relatively flat, with sales rising only 0.2 per cent.
The decline in sales volumes in the first quarter is unlikely to have much impact on economic growth in the same period, as retail sales make up only a small fraction of the economy. But it adds to the likelihood that growth in the first quarter may have been subdued.
However, manufacturing appears to be bouncing back from recession with increasing pace, largely thanks to a pick up in demand for exports.
The quarterly survey of industry from the CBI, the employers’ organisation showed orders rose significantly in the three months to April for the first time since the beginning of 2008, as export orders grew at their fastest since 1995.
Image: Manchester High St