The value of retail sales rose by 4.4% in March and 2.2% in volume, according to the Office for National Statistics.
In year-on-year terms, the value of sales was up 0.9% and the volume of sales was up 0.4%. The value excluding fuel was up 0.4% and the volume excluding fuel was 0.2%.
In value terms for March, food sales were up 1.2% and non-food sales were up 6.7%. In non-food, household goods rose by 6.6% and clothing and footwear was up 2.8%.
In volume terms for March, food sales were down 0.8% and non-food sales were up 6.7%. In non-food, household goods were up 5.5% and clothing and footwear was up 5.4%.
Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale, at Barclays Corporate said: “Following a volatile start to the year, March’s figures offer hope that a more stable landscape is emerging in the retail sector, with retail sales volumes up both month on month and year on year, broadly in line with expectations.
“Retailers will be keeping a close eye on consumer confidence following its recent reported dip. However, at present sales are not declining with confidence levels, despite rising unemployment and increasing inflationary pressure on household incomes. As the nation prepares to go to the polls, retailers will be hoping for the extension of various economic stimulus measures currently in place, particularly the historically low base rate.”