Britain saw a steep decline in sales in January due to snowy conditions
British retail sales jumped 2.1 percent in February, official data showed on Thursday, after dropping by 0.7 percent in January when snow caused shoppers to avoid the high street.
That confounded market expectations for a gain of only 0.6 percent, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
On a 12-month comparison, the Office for National Statistics added that sales in February grew by 2.6 percent compared with the same month of 2012.
"While retail sales were clearly lifted in February by the making up of some sales that had been lost to January's snow, the extent of the rebound suggest that consumers were generally more prepared to spend during the month," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at the IHS Global Insight research group.