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Retail industry posts best result in 10 years

The retail industry posted the highest level of growth since 2004 in April, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 6.9% compared with April 2013 and by 1.3% compared with March 2014. It has continued a pattern of year-on-year growth since early 2013.

With the exception of petrol stations, all stores saw year-on-year increases in sales volumes.

In April 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 6.2% compared with April 2013 and by 0.6% compared with March 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in April 2014 was £7.0 billion compared with £6.5 billion in April 2013 and £6.8 billion in March 2014.

Following a weak March, the amount spent online increased by 13.3% in April 2014 compared with April 2013 and by 2.6% compared with March 2014.

David McCorquodale, UK head of retail at business auditors KPMG, said: “The ONS statistics show that the effects of the economic recovery are feeding through to the retail sector.

“Retailers delivered a solid sales performance in April, undoubtedly helped by Easter and the good weather.

“This is very much a sentiment led recovery for the retail sector. While wage growth is lending a helping hand, ultimately consumers need to feel confident enough to spend their hard earned cash, especially when it comes to non-essential big ticket items.  If the good news keeps on coming and the economic recovery remains on track, this will be a good year for the retail sector.”

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