Brexit latest: Retail sales drop sharply and unexpectedly in March

Retail sale volumes slumped in March, performing worse than City of London analysts had expected, and raising new fears about the robustness of the consumer-led economy in the wake of last Summer’s Brexit vote.

According to the Office for National Statistics sales were down 1.8 per cent in the month, against City expectations of a 0.2 per cent decline.

The year on year growth rate was 1.7 per cent, against expectations of a 3.4 per cent expansion.

The monthly data can be volatile and March’s decline follows a 1.7 per cent spike in February, but the ONS itself pointed out the weakening

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