Britain’s despondent retail sector has taken a further hit today after the British Retail Consortium reported that High Street spending took its biggest knock since 1995 in March.
It found that like for like sales were off 3.5% over the month, dragged down by declines in every category of sales bar footwear.
The grim tidings are being blamed on a plethora of downward pressing indicators, notably this year’s later Easter, “uncomfortably high” inflation and low wage growth.
Stephen Roberstson, the BRC’s director general, wasn’t optimistic that things would pick up quickly either, saying: “Mounting fuel and utility costs, falling house prices, higher VAT and the prospect of more tax rises and job losses left people unwilling to spend unless they really had to.
“These pressures aren't going away and the arrival of higher National Insurance is likely to compound them in the immediate future.”