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Retail sales jump 2.7% in February

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG have shown that retail like-for-like sales jumped 2.7% in February, representing the fastest rate of growth for three years.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail sales jump 2.7% in February

This compares to February 2012, when like-for-like sales were down 0.3% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 4.4%, against a 2.3% rise in February 2012.

Excluding distortions caused by the timing of Easter in previous years, total sales grew at the fastest rate since February 2010 when they rose by 4.5%.

Online sales were up 10.9% over February 2012, when they had risen by 9.9%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said: "February saw growth across all parts of retailing, with big-ticket goods and items for the home recovering particularly well, possibly reflecting better conditions in the housing market. But it's too soon to assume this represents the permanent turnaround we need. 

"This month's Budget gives the Government a great opportunity to act to secure real and lasting revival from what could be no more than a short-lived lift. Retail is central to generating the growth and jobs so critical to the UK's economic recovery but weak consumer confidence is the real and present obstacle.

"Consumers need a Budget that leaves them with more money in their pockets and the confidence to spend it and retailers with the means to invest. I hope the Chancellor seizes the moment."

 

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