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British retail sales edged up unexpectedly in March, official data showed on Friday, suggesting consumers are still at the forefront of Britain's strong economic recovery. Retail sales volumes rose 0.1 percent on the month to show 4.2 percent growth on the year, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists taking part in a Reuters poll had expected retail sales to slip 0.4 percent on the month, owing in part to the Easter holidays falling in April this year, and after strong growth of 1.3 percent in February, which was downwardly revised. Consumers, many of them buoyed by a strengthening housing market, have so far been the main driving force behind Britain's rapid economic recovery.