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Retail sales rise by 1.4% in April

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Retail sales volumes rose by 1.4% in April 2022 following a fall of 1.2% in March 2022, with sales volumes 4.1% above their pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels.

In the three months to April 2022, sales volumes fell by 0.3% when compared with the previous three months; this continues the downward trend since summer 2021.

Food store sales volumes rose by 2.8% in April 2022, which ONS said was “mostly because of higher spending on alcohol and tobacco in supermarkets”; supermarket food sales were broadly unchanged.

Non-store retailing sales volumes rose by 3.7% in April 2022 led by stronger clothing sales.

Automotive fuel sales volumes rose by 1.4% in April 2022 following a fall of 4.2% in March when record increases in petrol prices impacted sales.

Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 0.6% in April 2022 because of falls in other non-food stores (-3.3%) and household goods stores (-0.5%), such as furniture stores.

The proportion of retail sales online rose to 27.0% in April 2022 from 25.9% in March and remains substantially higher than the 19.9% in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic.

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