Easter and the Royal Wedding bank holiday gave a lift to a number of retailers in April, with latest figures from the British Retail Consortium showing that UK retail sales were up 5.2 per cent on a like for like basis during the month.
In April 2010, sales had actually fallen 2.3 per cent as only Easter Sunday and Monday fell into the trading period.
On a total basis, sales were up 6.9 per cent, against a 0.2 per cent decrease in April 2010.
Food sales also returned to growth after the fall in March, while clothing and footwear benefited from the warm weather, as did outdoor and DIY.
Internet, mail order and phone sales growth picked up in April, with sales 13.7 per cent higher than a year ago.
"These sales figures are a relief after the dire sales falls we saw in March, but they are not the full picture," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC. "The numbers are being compared with an April last year which was a time of uncertainty ahead of the General Election, and which didn't include the main Easter trading period.
"Considered together, the results for March and April largely cancel each other out and the overall trend is flat."