Friday, the Office for National Statistics said UK retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.3% month-on-month in March. Economists' were looking a decline of 0.3%. Retail sales had declined in February.

On an annual basis, retail sales increased 1.5% in March, larger than the 1.1% forecast by economists.

For the first three months of the year, retail sales increased 2% compared the same period of the previous year.

The ONS noted that the monthly increase in retail sales was driven by gains in all sectors except household good stores and other non-food stores. Meanwhile, the year-on-year rise was led by a 1.3% increase in predominantly food stores.

However, retail sales volume remains mixed across all sectors, the statistical agency said.

For comments and feedback: contact