UK retail sales bounce back strongly from snow impact

Official figures show that retail sales bounced back strongly in April after cold weather hit the previous month.

The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that retail sales jumped a monthly 1.6 percent in April, more than making up the 1.1 percent decline in March.

The agency's head of national accounts, Rob Kent-Smith, said car fuel and department store sales recovered from the impact of snow in March.

However, he said, "the underlying position remains subdued with the volume of goods sold over the last six months broadly unchanged."

The increase is likely to stoke hopes that the British economy, which is heavily reliant on consumer spending, will bounce back from a disappointing first quarter, when it expanded by a tepid quarterly rate of 0.1 percent.