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Videogames sales boost retail

The Office for National Statistics has acknowledged the games industry's role in slowing the decline in consumer spending

The Office for National Statistics has released figures showing that the UK April retail sales have fallen less than expected due to a boost from videogame sales.

Consumer spending was more resilient to the effects of the worldwide credit crunch than predicted, as retail sales fell by only 0.2 per cent, down from analysts' forecast of 0.5 per cent, bringing the annual rate of increase down to 4.2 per cent.

Retail sales were no doubt boosted by a number of high profile game releases, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, which sold over 926,000 units in its first week in the UK alone.

However, the Bank of England is still expected to cut the rate of interest as April marks the first time that retail sales volume has fallen for a second consecutive month since January 2006.

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James Lee

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