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UK retail sales rise unexpectedly in February

UK retail sales rise unexpectedly in February

Retail sales in the U.K. rose unexpectedly in February on a monthly basis, as a 1.2% decline in food stores sales was offset by growth in all the other main sectors.

Sales volume grew by 0.4% month over month in February, following a downwardly revised increase of 0.9% in January, the Office for National Statistics said. The Econoday consensus forecast sales would slip 0.3% in February.

In the three months to February, retail sales volume grew by 0.7% from the prior three-month period, led by strong growth in non-store retailing and fuel. On an annual basis, total sales volume rose 4.0% in February, following a revised 4.1% growth in the previous month.

Online sales as a proportion of total retail sales slipped to 17.6% in February from 18.8% in January.