Consumers maintained their appetite for spending last month after official figures showed clothing stores enjoyed their best growth in three years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said retail sales volumes rose 0.1% in March on the prior month, much better than the City's forecast for a 0.4% fall.

The growth follows a rise of 1.3% in February and included a 3.1% month-on-month jump in clothing and footwear sales - the largest rise since April 2011 - as stores reaped the benefit of a warmer-than-usual spring.

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