By Daniel Hunter

UK retail sales surged by 2.1% in February after a 0.7% fall in January, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The ONS said the rise was thanks to sales in computers and technology, and goods bought online.

Sales were up 2.6% compared with February last year. British consumers spent a total of £6.3bn a week.

The sales bounce confirms figures released by the British Retail Consortium earlier this month.

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at the foreign exchange company, World First, said: “The biggest increase in retail sales for 11 months will be partly down to a rebound from the snow related issues that saw the previous month’s number slump into negative territory.

“The number is a surprise, however, given the level of consumer confidence and the fact that earnings growth is poor given the recent 2.8% CPI reading and average earnings growth of 1.2%.

“The data series has been volatile through the past 5 years of crisis, with the 12 month average now sat at 1.3% retail sales growth. I expect to see us moderate around this level throughout the rest of the year, as higher inflation and lower real wages continue to negatively impact real disposable income.”

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