Subscribe Login

UK Shoppers Boost Their Spending Despite Inflation's Bite

By Donna Ahern
UK Shoppers Boost Their Spending Despite Inflation's Bite

British retail sales rose by more than expected last month and volumes over the three months to April grew by the most since mid-2021according to official figures that showed resilience in consumer spending despite the surge in inflation.

Sales volumes in April rose by 0.5% from March when they fell by 1.2% as unusually heavy rain kept shoppers at home, the Office for National Statistics said ON Friday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that volumes would rise by 0.3% on the month.

Sales Increase 

In the February-to-April period, sales were up by 0.8% from the previous three months, the biggest such increase since the three months to August 2021.


However, retail sales volumes in April were 3.0lower than a year earlier, a bigger fall than forecast in the Reuters poll. Food sales were down by an annual 2.7%, a reminder of how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting household spending although the food sales fall was less sharp than in previous months.

"Retail sales grew, partially rebounding from a poor weather affected March, with jewellers, sports retailers and department stores all having a good month," Grant Fitzner chief economist ONS said.

"Despite continued high food prices, supermarkets also recovered from the fall in March. However, these were partly offset by a drop in the amount of fuel sold, despite prices also dropping."

Inflation Surge 

Britain's surge in inflation has hit the spending power of consumers in Britain. Although the pace of price growth slowed to 8.7% in April from 10.1% in March, according to data published earlier this week, the fall was smaller than expected.


Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Wednesday that he feared inflation could prove "sticky and stubborn" in the months ahead.

Read More: UK Retail Sales Fall In May After April Rise, Outlook Less Gloomy: CBI

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.