UK retailers expect sales to rise in April as non-essential retail shops are anticipated to reopen from mid-April, the latest Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed on Thursday.
A net 45 percent of retailers said sales volume declined sharply in March. But a net 17 percent forecast sales to grow in April.
A net balance of 33 percent reported a decline in orders in March versus -36 percent in February. Nonetheless, a net 1 percent forecast orders to rise in April.
The survey showed that internet sales growth eased in March. The net balance fell to 60 percent from a record 75 percent in February.
Retailers are looking forward to April with a sense of optimism, given the potential re-opening of the sector across the UK, Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI, said.
However, it is clear that the potential easing of domestic restrictions next month will not be a panacea for all retailers, Jones added. Expectations point to a fairly muted recovery, especially when considering that base effects will tend to flatter annual growth next month, given the historic drop in sales in April 2020.