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Retail sales surge in April

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by Kay Mitchell

The long bank holiday weekends and sunny weather has led to a surge in retail sales for the month of April, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) today.

The BRC said retail sales grew 5.2% last month due to the late Easter holidays, hot weather and Royal Wedding, with clothing, barbecue food, champagne and garden furniture selling well.

The rise follows the 3.5% fall in March but despite the strong performance, retailers remain under pressure as consumers continue to rein in their spending in the face of Government spending cuts and rising unemployment. Household spending is facing its biggest squeeze since the 1920s.

However, the BRC said that big-ticket items such as indoor furniture and electrical items remained unsold.

In the meantime, internet sales grew by 13.7% in April. While this was double the rate of the previous month, it remains way below the rate a year ago, said the BRC.

In other news today, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the sunny weather led to an improvement in house viewings.

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News posted: May 10, 2011

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