Retail sales on the rise

Retails sales have seen a boost according to the Office for National Statistics, who reposted that retail sales volumes were 0.1% higher in March than they were in February of this year. The figures also showed that there was a particular rise in sales of clothing and footwear.

This beats sales forecasts, which expected a drop due to the Easter bank holiday falling in April this year. However, volumes were up by 4.2% when compared year-on-year, which the ONS attributes to cold weather dampening sales in 2013.

Non-food stores had the biggest year-on-year rise for 12 years, going up by 9.6%.

In addition to this, sales for the first quarter of the year were up by 3.8%, compared to last year, adding to the pleasing news that the economy is strengthening.

This comes after the news that the Bank of England has raised its growth forecast for the quarter from 0.9% to 1%.

Sales of clothing increased by 3.1% in March, up from February, which helped boost the overall average sales up into the slight 0.1% increase.

Chief Economist at research firm Markit, Chris Williamson predicted that the sales growth was not temporary, saying “There is a fundamental improvement in household finances underway which should help drive further ongoing growth of consumer spending as we move through the year.”

He also added that the improving job market and rising wages combined with lower inflation helped to boost consumer spending.

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