Retail sales increased by both value and volume in March, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has announced.

Data from the government organisation shows that,             excluding petrol, the value and volume of sales grew 2.9 per cent and 0.9 per cent year-on-year, despite recent figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to the contrary.

The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor of March suggested that annual sales for the month dropped further than they ever had in the 16 years since it began recording the figures.

Non-food sales were up by volume on the same month last year but food sales fell slightly.

Sales for the non-store retailing sector, which includes goods purchased online and via channels such as catalogues and Television, were 13.1 per cent higher than a year ago.

Part of the reason for the difference in results is that the ONS’s data is seasonally adjusted but the BRC’s isn’t.

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