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Easter boosts high street sales

Easter boosts high street sales

Category: Economy

Updated: 22/04/2010
First Published: 22/04/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
The Easter period helped boost retail sales during March, following the strong performance recorded during February.

The first half of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend fell into the end of March this year, helping sales to pick up.

The value of retail sales increased by 4.4% last month, compared with March 2009, with volumes up by 2.2% on an annual basis, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

A 1.2% annual increase in the value of sales at predominantly food stores was reported, while a larger 6.7% improvement was achieved by predominantly non-food stores.

The value of sales at stores selling household goods rose by 6.6% in March 2010, compared with March 2009.

Monthly comparisons were not quite as encouraging, however, with the 0.4% rise from February falling short of many analysts' expectations.

"This confirms the strong retail sales growth seen in March was mainly caused by the distorting effect of Easter," British Retail Consortium director general, Stephen Robertson, said.

"Our own figures show most of the sales growth was in the week leading up to Easter. While customers are more confident than they were this time last year, the political and economic uncertainty surrounding the election is holding back underlying spending for now."

Figures released tomorrow will reveal how the UK economy performed during the first three months of the year.

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