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March retail sales increase hits four-year high

The British Retail Consortium has today issued a survey which shows that retail sales in the UK rose by the highest amount for four years in March. Total sales are said to have grown by 6.6% compared to March 2009 which is the highest increase since April 2006. Even after stripping out the effects of new retail space the growth is still 4.4% which is well in excess of analyst's expectations of a 3% increase.

While much of the improvement in figures, compared to March 2009, can be associated with an early Easter this year it still bodes well for the future and should give confidence to retailers and consumers alike. The UK retail sector has been fairly volatile of late with weather, politics and other issues all coming into play to have a material impact upon retail sales. It will be interesting to see how April, May, June and July perform because ultimately before the UK economy can push forward we will need to see an improvement in the retail market.

The pieces of the UK economic recovery jigsaw are there and slowly but surely they do appear to be coming together - hopefully there will be no unwelcome surprises in the future!

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