London, United Kingdom (4E) – Retail sales in the UK edged higher by 6.9 percent in April from year-earlier month, marking the strongest annual gain in a decade.
Retail sales rose by 1.3 percent between March and April topping analysts’ estimates for a 0.5 percent increase, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS cited food sales during the late Easter holiday as a key contributor to the overall figure. The result was 6.3 percent higher in April compared with a year earlier, and up by 3.6 percent on the month.
Non-food sales jumped by 6.5 percent from the previous year, but down 0.4 percent from March.
Food sales posted the largest annual rise since January 2002, and benefited from sales promotions and a warmer weather. Increases in food prices were limited to 0.9 percent in April, compared with 1.8 percent in the earlier month.
Quarterly retail sales have increased for 14 consecutive months, the ONS said.
The retail figures come following the release of government figures showing a 1.8 percent increase in inflation rate in April, a gain from 1.6 percent in March that is also the lowest in four years.
Wednesday’s results also showed that average wage growth climbed by 1.7 percent in the 12 months through March.