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The Office for National Statistics released its retail sales data for the U.K. on Thursday. Retail sales in the U.K. decreased 0.5% in March, missing expectations for a 0.4% rise, after a 0.6% gain in February. February's figure was revised down from a 0.7% increase.
It was the first decline in six months.
The decrease was driven by a drop in fuel sales. Fuel sales plunged 6.2%, the biggest drop since April 2012.
Sales at department stores declined, while sales at clothing and household-goods stores rose.
Food sales gained 0.4% in March.
On a yearly basis, retail sales in the U.K. climbed 4.2% in March, missing forecasts of 5.4% increase, after a 5.4% rise in February. February's figure was revised down from a 5.7% gain.
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