Shopping bags were empty in February

UK Retail Sales Post a Deep Dive in March

Posted Friday, April 24, 2020 by
Skerdian Meta • 1 min read

Retail sales turned negative in August last year, declining by 0.2%. Since then, they have been declining every month, apart from January when we saw a 0.9% increase, which didn’t last. They turned negative again in February, declining by 0.3%. But, that was still before the coronavirus lockdown. Now, the data for March is showing a major decline in retail sales, as shown below.

UK March Retail Sales

  • March retail sales -5.1% vs -5.0% expected
  • February retail sales stood at -0.3%
  • Retail sales YoY -5.8% vs -5.0% expected
  • February retail sales YoY 0.0%
  • March retail sales (ex. autos, fuel) -3.8% vs -4.0% expected
  • February retail sales (ex. autos, fuel) -0.5%
  • Retail sales (ex. autos, fuel) YoY -4.1% vs -4.8% expected
  • February retail sales (ex. autos, fuel) YoY +0.5%

So, retail sales have declined by 5.1% in March, more than expected, and they will likely post another major decline for April. YoY sales fell by 5.8%, while core sales declined by 3.8% in March. The GBP didn’t mind much though, with GBP/USD actually ending up higher during the European session today.

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