Retail sales in Britain increased 2.1 percent in May on the previous month and 1.9 percent on May of last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Thursday in London.
The growth rate was higher than market consensus estimates of 0.8 percent, according to 4CAST.
The main source of upward pressure in the quantity bought came from the non-store retailing sector, where, compared with May 2012, the quantity of goods bought increased by 19.1 percent, according the press release.
This was supported by an increase in the non-food sector, where, over the same period, the quantity of goods bought increased by 2.2 percent.
Food retailers saw a 3.4 percent increase in the amount customers spent in May on April's figure.
And in May 2013, the overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted online sales remained high at 9.7 percent.
"Continuing a recent run of good economic news, May's rise in the official measure of retail sales will have partly reflected the fading drag from the unusually cold weather seen earlier in the year. But the underlying retail picture appears to be strengthening," said Capital Economics, an economic analysis company based in London.