UK retail sales rise by 5.4pc in MarchBusiness | 23 Apr 2021 4:07 pm
British retail sales jumped last month before a partial lifting of coronavirus restrictions, suggesting an economic rebound is under way, Reuters reports.
Sales volumes leapt by 5.4 percent in March from February with clothing retailers able to sell online benefiting especially as consumers got ready to venture out after being locked down for much of the past year.
Retailers also reported a rise in purchases of mobility equipment as older people left their homes after their vaccinations and there was a jump in sales at garden centres, reflecting the boom in gardening over the past year.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a much smaller month-on-month increase of 1.5 percent.
"March's strong rise in retail sales showed that the economy made a fair bit of progress even before non-essential retailers re-opened in April," said Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics.
Sales were up by 1.6 percent from February last year, before the pandemic hit, the Office for National Statistics said.