UK retail sales grew more strongly than expected in February, up 0.7% compared with the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Compared with February 2014, sales were 5.7% higher, boosted by the recovery in the housing market, the ONS said.
Rising home sales boosted purchases of products such as furniture.
Average store prices fell for the eighth consecutive month, falling by 3.6% in February 2015 compared with a year earlier.
The largest contribution to the drop in prices came from the slide in fuel prices, which fell more than 15% over the year to February 2015.