Forex Pros – Retail sales in Britain rose unexpectedly in April, but the pace of growth remains subdued, industry data showed on Tuesday.

In a report, the Confederation of British Industry said the result of its index of U.K. retailers climbed to 21 in April, after rising to 15 in March.

Analysts had expected the index to hold steady at 15 in April.

On the index, a reading above zero indicates higher sales volume, below indicates lower. 

According to the data, U.K. retailers expect that sales will remain well below seasonal norms in May. 

Commenting on the report, CBI Chief Economic Advisor Ian McCafferty said, “For the third month in a row, retailers considered sales to be unseasonably poor, stocks are running quite high, and orders with suppliers are expected to fall.”

“With few signs of demand picking up rapidly in the coming months, conditions on the high street look like remaining tough for retailers,” he added. 

Following the release of the data, the pound was broadly lower against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD tumbling 1.07% to hit 1.6475.

Meanwhile, European stock markets were down. The FTSE 100 dipped 0.08%, the EURO STOXX 50 slumped 0.75%, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.77%, while Germany’s DAX was down 0.91%.