UK retail sales declined slightly in March as consumer confidence continued to weaken, the British Retail Consortium said on Tuesday.
The like-for-like sales dropped 0.4 percent in March from the previous year. Meanwhile, total sales grew 3.1 percent, underpinned by non-food sales.
Food sales were down 6.1 percent, due to the timing of Easter in 2021 and compounded by the impact of the lockdown in March last year.
The rising cost-of-living and the ongoing war in Ukraine dampened consumer confidence, Helen Dickinson, chief executive at BRC, said. Furthermore, households are yet to feel the full impact of the recent rise in energy prices and national insurance changes.
There is also potential for further supply chain disruption, with China putting key manufacturing and port cities into lockdown, Dickinson noted. Ultimately, consumers face an enormous challenge this year, and this is likely to be reflected in retail spend in the future.