Shop sales and growth slip back

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THE UK’s stuttering economic recovery has faltered further following an unexpected plunge in retail sales and warnings yesterday of slower growth by one of the world’s leading economic think-tanks.

The CBI’s monthly high street health check found sales falling at their fastest pace since January 2012, continuing the trend of weakening activity since the start of this year. Online sales were also lower for the first time since August 2011.

The figures came as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) trimmed its economic growth forecast for the UK for the current year to 0.8 per cent, down from 0.9 per cent in December, and edged its 2014 forecast down to 1.5 per cent.