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Mixed news for the economy

There is mixed news for the economy. Retail sales for last month rose by 1.9% compared to March last year and there was an 0.8% in factory output for February. But the UK's trade deficit widened, mainly caused by a 1.1% fall in exports.

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Hope 'positive bounce can continue across the country'

Easter distortions aside, the three-month average figures paint a positive picture and show the highest like-for-like sales increases since December 2009.

On the back of strong January and February results, this may be the beginning of a positive trend and will be welcomed by many retailers.

With Easter falling early this year, the April sales comparatives will be negatively affected but it is hoped that the positive bounce of the first quarter of 2013 can continue to be felt across the country, buoyed by the opening of new shopping centres in cities such as Leeds.

– David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG

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