The easter bunny failed to lift retail sales which unexpectedly fell last month amid falling sales from petrol stations, adding to the mixed picture currently being painted for the economy.
Retail sales fell 0.5 per cent in March from a month earlier, as petrol stations said sales slipped by 6.2 per cent, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics. And city economists were left surprised, with many expected a rise of 0.4 per cent.
"It had seemed likely that Easter being right at the start of April would lift sales in March," Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS, said.
Economists are keenly awaiting the release of figures first quarter gross domestic product next Tuesday,
However city economists are now looking to the release of first quarter gross domestic product next Tuesday, with many expected growth to have slowed from the previous quarter.
"Concern that gross domestic product growth could have slowed appreciably in the first quarter of 2015 has been fuelled by disappointing industrial production … construction output data for February as well as weaker trade data," Archer said.