UK retail sales grew at their fastest rate in more than 3 years in February, as the continued dry weather coaxed shoppers back out into our high streets.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said like-for-like retail sales were up 2.7% on the previous year and that is the fastest rate of like-for-like sales growth since December 2009, the group said.

Consumers demand for electrical goods was the “growth engine” of the high street shopping.

The latest data will allow retailers a sigh of relief, after recent reports suggested the UK might be on the brink of another recession.

‘Switch buying’

Helen Dickinson, director-general of the BRC said, “February saw growth across all parts of retailing, with big-ticket goods and items for the home recovering particularly well.”

Food sales were up by 1%, despite the horsemeat scandal which threatened to affect the big supermarkets.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of the food data provider IGD, said, “Although there was a lot of ‘switch buying’, such as a fall in frozen burger sales in favour of more ingredients to cook from scratch, the overall effect on food and drink sales was neutral.”

The BRC figures contrasted with a recent CBI survey which reported that food stores suffered their worst performance for five years in February.

Source: BBC Website