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The Office of National Statistics released the retail sales in the U.K. U.K. retail sales increased 1.3% in April, from a 0.1% gain in March. Analysts had expected a 0.4% increase.
On a yearly basis, U.K. retail sales rose 6.9% in April, exceeding expectations for a 5.2% increase. That was the fastest pace since May 2004. U.K. retail sales climbed 4.8% in March.
The retail sales increase was driven by a supermarket price war between Morrisons, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's. Food sales rose 3.6% in April from March and at annual rate of 6.3%. That was highest annual growth since January 2002.
Bank of England's minutes of its May meeting showed that the Bank of England policymakers voted unanimously to maintain interest rates unchanged at record lows this month. But some policymakers thought the arguments in favour of an interest-rate hike were growing stronger.
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