Shop sales slow as people rein in spending
Sales in shops have slowed as household budgets come under pressure from the rising cost of living, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.
Its figures show sales growth for March rose by 3.1%, the smallest increase so far this year and down from a 6.7% rise in February.
It comes as millions are having to deal with higher energy bills and taxes.
The BRC said pressure on people's finances and the war in Ukraine had "shaken consumer confidence".
With inflation rising at its fastest rate for 30 years, people in the UK are facing increased pressure from living costs. Fuel, energy and food prices have seen some of the biggest increases.
The rate at which prices rise has been forecast to reach 8.7% in the final three months of 2022, which means households may be forced to cut back.
The figures from the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor showed that overall sales fell by 0.4% in March from 12 months earlier.
Food sales for the month fell year-on-year and online sales for non-food items also decreased by 29%, compared with growth of 64.7% the year before.
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