Britain’s retail sales surge in March on partial lifting of restrictions

UK retail sales surged by 5.4% in March from upwardly-revised 2.2% in February and heavily beat expectations for 1.5% rise, driven by a partial lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions that boosted consumer spending.

Strong rise in retail sales last month, with clothing stores benefiting the most and rise in purchases of mobility equipment and increased sales in garden centers showed that the economic recovery is accelerating even as a number of non-essential shops reopened in April.

Retail sales were up 1.6% from February last year, before the pandemic hit and up 7.2% compared to March 2020 when the pandemic was spreading and significantly slowed most of the economies, while the online shopping dropped to 34.7% in March after hitting a record high in February.