Heatwave and iPads fuel surprise jump in sales
Saturday 21 April 2012
Hopes of a spring high street revival were boosted yesterday by a surprise jump in spending fuelled by warm weather, the launch of the iPad3 and panic-buying of petrol.
The splurge also raised the chances of the UK staving off a double-dip recession, as a combination of the warmest March since 1957 and a petrol panic which saw fuel sales soar, left retail volumes up 1.8 per cent over the month – the biggest jump for more than a year. The launch of the new iPad helped to boost "other" sales, which includes electronics, up 6.2 per cent.
The figures will calm nerves over next week's first official estimate of growth in the opening quarter of 2012, although the City is pencilling in an anaemic rise of just 0.1 per cent. This leaves the UK averting a technical double-dip, defined by two successive quarters of contraction, by the skin of its teeth.
The British Chambers of Commerce's chief economist, David Kern, said: "This reinforces hopes that GDP will show positive growth in the first quarter."
The heatwave sent clothing sales up 2.3 per cent over the month as shoppers rushed for summer togs. The sales were much stronger than City pundits were expecting, leaving the chances of more money-printing by the Bank of England next month even slimmer.
However, experts warned the sales boost may be shortlived.
David Page, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets UK economist, said: "We expect that some of this strength from the one-offs may come out again in April, so this is not a sign of a turning point in retail activity."
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...