UK retail sales dropped 1.4 percent in March with heavy falls in online shopping, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the fall came after a 0.3 percent drop in February – the second month of declining sales in a row.
Online sales took the heaviest brunt of the pain, with sales volumes down 7.9 percent last month, following a 6.9 percent fall in February, with the ONS suggesting the drop was linked to the cost-of-living crisis.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Retail sales fell back notably in March with rises in the cost of living hitting consumers’ spending.
“Online sales were hit particularly hard due to lower levels of discretionary spending.
“Fuel sales also fell substantially, with evidence suggesting some people reduced non-essential journeys, following record high petrol prices, while food sales continued to fall, dropping for the fifth consecutive month.”