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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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Retail rise as poor weather hinders fashion sales

According to the British Retail Consortium UK retail sales rose by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis from March 2012.

Unseasonable weather hindered fashion sales. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Growth is inflated by the timing of Easter, which fell in March this year but in April last year, but unseasonable weather hindered fashion categories.

Adjusted for Shop Price Index inflation at 1.4% in March, total retail sales values grew 2.3% in real terms.

Online sales were up 6.6%.

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