UK Consumer Spending Becalmed in Doldrums

31 March 2006

    LONDON - Retail sales during March remained weak for the third month running, according to the Confederation of British Industry, casting doubt on the strength of the economic recovery hoped for by the Bank of England and Treasury.
    In its latest snapshot of UK retail conditions the CBI reports that just 18% of retailers reported better sales in March while 35% said they were down year-on-year.
    The index of minus 16%, little improved on February's minus 18%, dashed retailers' hopes that March would mark a recovery from a weak start to the year.