LONDON (Reuters) - British retail sales grew at the fastest pace since June 2012 in the first part of February, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Wednesday.
After a slow beginning to the year, the CBI distributive trades survey's sales balance rose to +37, its highest level since June 2012, from +14 in January. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a rise to +15.
The expected sales balance for March was +28, rising from +15 the previous month.
"Overall sales have been remarkably resilient in the face of disruption from the exceptional weather across the UK, which has badly affected many families and businesses," said Barry Williams, who chairs the CBI survey panel and is a senior executive at Asda, Wal-Mart's
"Although we are by no means seeing a universally confident shopper, the positive indicators have perhaps given some people the urge to spend."
The CBI said the rise in sales volumes was driven by grocers, clothing, and furniture and carpet retailers.
British retail sales volumes fell more than expected in January, according to official data released last week that showed a 1.5 percent drop - the biggest since April 2012.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce)