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Sales boosted by a sunny April

British retail sales rose in April thanks to the effects of some sunshine and Easter.

According to the British Retail Consortium Retail (BRC) Sales Monitor, like-for-like British retail sales (which do not include sales from new shops) rose 4.6% in April compared with the same month last year. Putting the figures into context, the BRC says retail sales were weak in April 2008 owing to the cold wet weather after Easter falling in March.

Indeed the BRC says it is difficult to make a meaningful comparison between the two time periods.

In a statement, Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said: “The best sales growth in three years is good news, but let’s be cautious. A sunny Easter that fell in April this year is the key reason why overall sales are up compared with last year when Easter was in March and was miserable.

“Sales of garden goods, outdoor leisure, clothing and food did well but other non-food sectors missed out on the seasonal boost and the total spent on food rose less than food inflation, indicating the amount sold dropped.”

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