| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

Home 
 
 News
 Irish
 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 International
 Property
 Innovation
 
 Analysis/Comment
 
 Asia Economy

RSS FEED


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

 
Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.

Welcome

Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.

Links

Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News

Newspapers

Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News

 

Feedback

 

Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : UK Economy Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011 - 4:03 AM


British retail sales in March were worst in 16 years; Housing market in doldrums
By Finfacts Team
Apr 12, 2011 - 5:23 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

British retail sales in March were the worst in 16 years according to a survey published Tuesday. Meanwhile a report on the housing market shows that activity is in the doldrums in almost all regions.

The British Retail Consortium reports that UK retail sales values were down 1.9% on a total basis from March 2010, when sales had risen 6.6%, boosted by Good Friday and Easter Saturday falling in the March trading period. On a like-for-like basis, sales were 3.5% lower, against a 4.4% increase in March 2010.

Like-for-like food sales fell well below their year-earlier level and non-food sales showed an even larger decline. Consumers' underlying uncertainty about jobs and incomes, as well as the later Easter, hit both. Big-ticket home and furniture purchases suffered most and were often promotion-led.

Non-food non-store (internet, mail-order and phone) sales growth fell further in March. Sales were 7.5% higher than a year ago, the smallest increase since the series began in October 2008 and much weaker than the 10.4% in February.

Stephen Robertson, director general, British Retail Consortium, said: "This is the worst drop in total sales since we first collected these figures in 1995. Non-food retailers were particularly hard-hit. This is strong evidence of the pressure customers and traders are under. This year's later Easter is a factor but this fall goes way beyond anything that can be explained by that alone."

Helen Dickinson, head of retail, KPMG, said: "The food sector suffered in the month due to Easter purchasing falling into March last year, thus impacting the overall results. However, beyond this the trend continues in a marked downward direction: non-food continues to struggle, with big-ticket and home-related sectors again being the hardest hit.

We have seen an emergence of new, lower spending patterns since the middle of January, which are currently continuing to trend downwards. Many retailers will not be able to sustain this ongoing weakness in demand beyond the short term and are hoping for some good news around the extended bank holiday period and a feel-good factor driven by the royal wedding. However, as disposable income continues to fall, without reducing saving or increasing borrowing – which would oppose current trends – this will not be possible."

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in its monthly survey of surveyors, says London is the only region where house prices are rising while areas in the North of England, Northern Ireland and Wales report sharp falls.

"The rather negative outlook for property prices across the UK seems to better reflect the general economy than the micro climate of London," said RICS housing spokesperson, Ian Perry.

"The low level of buyer interest in many parts of the UK continues to impact on the market, resulting in some downward pressure on prices.

"With the prospect of forthcoming interest rate rises and continued shortage of mortgage funding, it seems that overall recovery for the national housing market is still some way off,"
he added.

The survey was based on responses from 259 surveyors who work as estate agents and found that nearly 60% of surveyors reported no change in the prices of the properties they had sold.

"Within England and Wales, a clear North South divide is emerging, with London being the only region recording rising prices, demonstrating that the capital is still operating under different market conditions to the rest of the country," RICS said.

Some 23% more surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in property prices last month, which compares to 26% in February, though most recorded falls of between 0% and 2%, with prices in London continuing to rise.

Nevertheless, 24% more surveyors expect prices to fall in the next three months, which marks the 10th consecutive month that the reading has been negative.

Completed sales per surveyor fell to their lowest level for 21 months, at just 14.4 sales in the past three months.

Related Articles
Related Articles


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

UK Economy
Latest Headlines
UK in 28th rank of 30 advanced OECD nations for health resourcing: Economist Intelligence Unit
Business on a Shoestring: Keeping startup costs low in UK and Ireland
UK "underlying growth has stopped"
41,000 London properties held by foreign companies - 90% in tax havens
UK GDP rose 2.6% in 2014 up from 1.7% in 2013
Northern Ireland private economy contracted in December 2014
Northern Ireland may have a 12.5% corporation tax rate from 2017
UK moves ahead on 'Google tax' despite criticism
PwC charged with "selling tax avoidance on an industrial scale"; indulging in "scams"
Income inequality damages economies; Rich-poor gap highest in 30 years
Cameron warns of risk of another global recession
Only 80,000 of 1.1m UK jobs added since 2008 were full-time employee positions
UK added 112,000 jobs in third quarter; Pay inches above inflation - first time in 5 years
Germany and UK agree to restrict 'patent box' tax incentives to local R&D
German retailer Aldi to create 35,000 new jobs in UK by 2022
UK GDP growth slowed in the three months to September
UK retail sales fell in September; Tesco, Debenhams, Foxtons report market stress
UK faces more austerity and less chance of tax cuts
Globalization, the underclass and the need for a new model - Part 2
Northern Ireland PMI shows sharp increase in activity
UK economic growth revised up - above pre-recession level
London world’s most expensive city for companies to locate employees
UK retail sales in August best performance since January
UK economy added more net jobs in past 4 years than rest of the EU combined
UK to announce stiffer penalties for offshore tax evaders
UK economy since launch of the euro in 1999
IMF says British pound overvalued
UK profit warnings reach highest first half total since 2011
UK GDP up 3.1% in 12 months to end Q2 2014; Economy overtakes pre-crisis 2008 peak
Wealthy foreign students overtake finance professionals as renters in prime Central London areas
UK attracts most inward investment projects since records began in 1980s
Trends in UK and US part-time and self employment since 2008
UK labour participation at 73% - highest in decade; US at 63% - lowest since 1978
More than 20,000 client names of Jersey tax haven bank leaked
UK house prices overtook their 2007 peak in Q2 2014
UK recovery continues at robust pace
UK employment rose again at a record pace in the three months to April
UK tax revenues rose to record in 2013/2014 with help from tax dodgers
Overseas visits to London in 2013, up 43.5% in 10 years
UK economy grew 0.8% in Q1 2014; Almost back to 2008 peak