UK retail sales fall unexpectedly in April - CBI

LONDON Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:10am BST

A man walks down New Bond Street in London April 19, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

A man walks down New Bond Street in London April 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

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LONDON (Reuters) - British retail sales fell in April for the first time in eight months, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Wednesday.

The sales balance in the CBI's monthly distributive trades survey dropped to -1 from zero in March, its weakest since August. Analysts had expected a modest rise.

The expected sales balance for May dropped to -6, its lowest since February 2012.

"Retailers were frustrated this month by the ongoing stagnation in sales growth," said Barry Williams, an executive at supermarket chain Asda and chair of the CBI panel. "This may be explained in part by the unseasonal weather we suffered, but there is no doubt that high street conditions are tricky with consumers lacking the confidence to go out and spend."

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