LONDON: British retail sales rose far more than expected in March, official data showed, despite political uncertainty over Brexit and turmoil for department stores.
Total sales increased by 1.1 per cent compared to February, when they rose 0.6pc, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
The March reading easily outshone analysts’ consensus forecast for an increase of just 0.3pc, according to a Bloomberg poll.
“Consumers have undeniably been resilient and have seemingly so far largely brushed off Brexit concerns,” said EY economist Howard Archer.
Britain is now due to leave the European Union by Oct 31. In addition, retail sales soared 6.7pc in March compared to a year earlier in the best annual gain since Oct 2016.