© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People carry Primark shopping bags after retail restrictions due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) eased, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
LONDON (Reuters) -British retail sales jumped unexpectedly in April, official data showed on Friday, but the outlook for consumer spending remained resolutely downbeat as the cost-of-living crunch intensifies.
Retail sales volumes rose by 1.4% month-on-month last month after a 1.2% drop in March.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2% monthly fall in retail sales.
The wider picture, however, remains weak.
Retail sales in the three months to April fell 0.3%, after a 0.7% drop in March.
Earlier on Friday, Britain’s longest-running gauge of consumer confidence, the GfK survey, fell to its lowest since records began in 1974.