Record vehicle sales have driven growth in the retail sector to its strongest level in a nearly a year.
Official numbers show a seasonally adjusted rise of 1.5 percent in retail sales volumes for the three months to the end of March, compared with 0.9 percent in the previous quarter.
The growth was on the back of booming sales of vehicles and auto parts, along with restaurant, bar and takeaway food sales, and electronic goods.
Spending at the supermarket and on fresh food was lower.
Excluding the vehicle related items, retail sales volumes grew 1.2 percent during the quarter.
Sales values, which include price movements, rose 2.6 percent on the previous quarter to close to $22 billion.