UK retail sales growth hits a 10 year high in April

UK retail sales grew by 6.9% in April compared with the same month a year earlier, new figures show, making it the strongest annual rise in ten years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said retail sales jumped by 1.3% between March and April beating forecasts for a 0.5% rise.

According to the ONS, food sales during the late Easter holiday made a significant contribution to the overall figure.

They were 6.3% higher in April against a year earlier, and 3.6% up on March.

Non-food sales rose by 6.5% compared with a year earlier, but were down 0.4% on the month.

The annual rise in food sales was the biggest since January 2002, and were helped by better weather and sales promotions.

Increases in the price of food were limited to 0.9% in April, compared with 1.8% a month earlier.

Quarterly retail sales have now grown for 14 months in a row, the ONS added.