Mar 23, 8:09 AM EDT

Retail sales in Britain rose in February but the underlying picture remains gloomy as the country prepares to start two years of discussions to leave the European Union


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Retail sales in Britain rose in February but the underlying picture remains gloomy as the country prepares to start two years of discussions to leave the European Union

The German government says pensions will rise by up to 3.6 percent this year as a result of higher wages in Europe's biggest economy

Britain's Office of National Statistics says the inflation rate rose to 2.3 percent in February as pressures on the pound following Britain's vote to leave the European Union filtered into the economy in the form of rising food and fuel prices

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LONDON (AP) -- Official figures show retail sales in Britain bounced back strongly in February but that the underlying picture remains gloomy as the country prepares to start two years of discussions to leave the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that retail sales rose 1.4 percent in February from the previous month. An increase had been expected following three monthly declines.

On a three-month basis, however, retail sales are still down by 1.4 percent. That's the worst three-month performance since March 2010.

Analysts say the underlying picture suggests that households are reining in spending ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May's upcoming triggering of the two-year Brexit process as well as rising inflation largely related to higher energy prices.

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