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Shoppers hit high street, lured out by spring sun

Retail sales data from the Office for National Statistics showed that retail sales rose by 4.7% year-on-year in April, and rose 1.2% on March. Average selling prices declined for the 10th consecutive month, by 3.2%, as the supermarket price war continued. The spring sunshine contributed to the strongest growth in April clothing sales for more than five years. The volume of clothing and footwear sales in April was 8.7% higher than the same month a year earlier. The total amount spent in shops was exactly the same as April 2014 at £27.8bn. Analysts said the strong figures suggested consumers were spending again as pay growth of 1.7% significantly outpaces zero inflation. However data provider Markit said continued strong growth in consumer spending, coupled with inflation - which is expected to return as the price of oil increases - could push the Bank of England to raise interest rates later this year.

 

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