LONDON (AP) -- Retail sales in Britain rose 1.9 percent in February from January, leaving them 5 percent higher than a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday.
In terms of volume, as opposed to value, sales were up 2.1 percent compared with January, or 3.5 percent ahead of February 2009, the agency said.
Non-food stores led the gains with sales 8.1 percent higher by value compared with a year earlier. Sales by stores mainly dealing in food were 0.9 percent higher than a year ago, the agency said.
"February's official retail sales figures confirm that high street spending bounced back after the snow and VAT (value-added tax) rise hit spending at the start of the year," said Vicky Redwood, economist at Capital Economics.
"That said, the sharp increases are less impressive than they look, given that January's falls were revised far bigger."