March retail sales in U.K. drop more than forecast

London -- A Thursday report by Bloomberg said that retail sales in the U.K. fell a more-than-expected 0.8% (excluding fuel) in March compared to February, impacted by unseasonably cold weather and a still-sluggish economy.

Sales in February increased 2.1%.

“The outlook for household demand remains weak,” Simon Hayes, an economist at Barclays Plc in London, told Bloomberg. “It is hard to see a sustained recovery taking hold until the caution around household income prospects lifts.”

Sales at food stores rose 0.9% in March, apparel and footwear declined 3.1%, while household goods plunged 6.2%, led by a drop in demand for electrical appliances and hardware materials.

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