Retail sales volumes in UK for the month of February 2013 increased 4.4%, representing the strongest monthly surge in three years.

Data published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that the like-for-like sales increased were up 2.7% in February 2013 while the same for the corresponding month in 2012 had declined 0.3%.

Non-food, furnishing and flooring categories registered the strongest performance while clothing sales also increased on the back of a dry spell of weather.

Online sales for the month were up 10.9% over February 2012.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson remarked that the turnaround in sales volumes was a welcome trend, following the disappointing returns in 2012.

"There are certainly highly-welcome signs here of gradual improvement and customers feeling a bit more positive. February saw growth across all parts of retailing, with big-ticket goods and items for the home recovering particularly well, possibly reflecting better conditions in the housing market," outlined Dickinson.

Food and drink sales for the month, however, remained sluggish with the horsemeat scandal affecting some of the purchase patterns.

Dickinson added that the turnaround could be short-lived and it was too soon to assume that the increase represented a permanent positive shift.

The agency also called upon the Chancellor to announce measures in his budget that will provide some respite for retail costs as well as boost consumer confidence.

"Retail is central to generating the growth and jobs so critical to the UK’s economic recovery but weak consumer confidence is the real and present obstacle.

"Consumers need a Budget that leaves them with more money in their pockets and the confidence to spend it and retailers with the means to invest. I hope the Chancellor seizes the moment," Dickinson concluded.