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Royal wedding and sunshine boost UK retail sales

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Royal wedding and sunshine boost UK retail sales
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The royal wedding holiday and the warmest April weather on record helped drive up Britain’s retail sales last month by their fastest in a decade.

The UK Office for National Statistics said sales volumes rose 1.1 percent – the biggest rise for a month of April since 2002.

However, the one-off boost did little to alter the view that the UK’s economic recovery remains fragile and the Bank of England will wait for some more months before raising interest rates.

James Knightley, an economist at ING, who is predicting the first BoE rate hike will be in November, said: “With household incomes failing to keep pace with the cost of living, we expect to see retail sales growth remain fairly modest through much of this year.”

Underlying sales growth remained muted as rising prices and poor wage growth squeezed Britons’ household budgets. Retail sales in the three months to April rose 0.2 percent. Excluding fuel, sales in the period were flat.