Scottish retail sales hit by Easter and election
The April trading period included only Easter Sunday and Monday this year, but all of Easter in 2009. Total sales in April were 0.7% up on a year ago, when Easter had boosted growth to 8.2%.
Easter distortions and consumer caution meant like-for-like sales performance was the weakest since March 2000 and total sales growth the worst since April 1999.
Food sales growth dropped markedly, against a strong Easter boost in April 2009. Non-food sales also fell back, hit by consumer caution and pre-election uncertainty. Clothing and footwear, homewares and furniture all suffered, with discretionary items worst affected.
Like-for-like sales fell less than they did in the UK, but they had picked up less in March. UK sales were 2.3% lower than in April 2009, when they had risen 4.6%. Fragile consumer confidence in Scotland, especially about public sector job cuts, made shoppers cautious about spending.
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