LONDON: British retail sales rebounded in January as fears faded over coronavirus variant Omicron, official data showed Friday.
Total sales volumes jumped 1.9 percent last month compared with a record drop of 4.0 percent in December when shoppers had shunned bricks-and-mortar stores with Omicron spreading rapidly, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS added that December's data was revised down from a fall of 3.7 percent, which was already a record for that month.
"After a sluggish December where the Omicron wave had a significant impact, retail sales rebounded in January with their biggest monthly rise since the shops reopened (from lockdown) last spring," said ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan.
The discovery of the Omicron variant in late November raised concerns about its potential effects on the global economy as countries restored some travel restrictions.
But the highly infectious variant has proven less deadly than its predecessors.