British retail sales growth slows in April: official data

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Retail sales in Britain rose by 0.3 percent in April compared with an upwardly-revised 0.5-percent gain in March, official data showed on Thursday.

They climbed by 1.8 percent in April compared with 12 months earlier, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added in a statement.

"Data released this morning show that the recovery in the retail sector continued in April albeit at a slower pace," said Jorg Radeke, an economist for the London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research.

"Overall, today's data supports the picture of an established recovery in the retail sector following the disruptions at the beginning of the year.

"This is even more remarkable as low earnings growth and above target inflation have a negative impact on spending power.

"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," added Radeke.

© 2010 AFP

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