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Retail sector could see improvement after GDP figures better than expected

The retail industry could be on track for improvement after figures were released showing economic growth.

The cold weather at the start of the year had been expected to affect growth of the retail sector by keeping people away from the high street. However, the impact appeared to be minimal and strong sales were reported in February.

Overall growth for the retail sector matched that of the whole economy at 0.3 per cent, exceeding earlier predictions that had been at just 0.1 per cent. Reuters.com reports that the economy as a whole grew at a faster pace than expected, with a rise of 0.3 per cent.

A forecast was around the 0.1 per cent figure, with some experts believing the country was set to slip back into recession. The motor trade, along with the mining and gas industries also performed well.

The boost in economy may be welcome news for retail owners, who may be expecting increased cash collections as consumers start to return to the high street. The positive news could be all the people need to start spending again.

The figures, from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the latest GDP reading as having risen by 0.6 per cent year-on-year. This is the strongest rise since the end of 2011.

As cited by independent.co.uk, Chancellor George Osborne said: "Despite a tough economic backdrop, we are making progress."

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