UK retail sales smash expectations rising 4.7 per cent year-on-year

Jessica Morris
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Retail sales jumped 1.2 per cent in April (Source: Getty)

The retail sector smashed expectations as warm weather encouraged shoppers on to high streets across the UK last month.

Retail sales volumes (excluding fuel) were up 4.7 per cent year-on-year, gaining 1.2 per cent from March, beating economist expectations of 3.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent.

This was driven by textiles, clothing and footwear, which saw volumes increase by 5.2 per cent month-on-month, representing the largest increase since July 2010.

Additionally amount spent (or value) rose by 2.2 per cent year-on-year and 3.3 per cent month-on-month.

Sunshine may have warmed clothing sales however economists have said that other factors such as rising employment, wages as well as low inflation were also at play.

"The sunshine added to a variety of factors that are helping retailers enjoy an upward sales trend, including record employment, improving wage growth and, perhaps the most important of all, falling prices," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said.

The retail price deflation - which shows the prices of goods sold in the retail industry - decreased 3.6 per cent. Fuel prices fell by 11.5 per cent while food prices slipped 0.1 per cent.

Britain fell into deflation for the first time since the 1960's in April boosting consumers spending power - nonetheless economists have warned this won't last long meaning Britons should enjoy it while they can.

The Bank of England expects inflation to stay around zero over the next few months before increasing "notably" towards the end of the year once the effects of low food and oil prices fade away.

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