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Retail sales growth at 10-year high

UK retail sales experienced the highest annual growth in a decade as sales rose 6.9% in April 2014 year-on-year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Sales increased 1.3% between March and April 2014, exceeding original forecasts of 0.5% growth.

In April 2014 the amount spent in the retail sector increased by 6.2% compared to April 2013.

The ONS said that all stores saw year-on-year increases in sales volumes apart from petrol stations:

  • Sales in the food sector grew 6.3% in the year to April 2014, the biggest growth since January 2002
  • Non-store retail (such as catalogues and online) sales saw annual increases of 25.1%
  • Sales at non-food stores grew 6.5%
  • Sales at petrol stations dropped 0.7%.

The ONS report said that "the underlying pattern was one of growth":

"Notably the food sector posted its strongest year-on-year growth since January 2002, increasing by 6.3%. Feedback from food store retailers suggested that a better than expected Easter and better weather conditions helped to boost sales."