BBQs aid retail sales figures

Retail sales jumped 5.2% in April because of the warm weather and the extra Bank Holiday, according to the latest statistics.

The increase reversed a 3.5% fall the previous month, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Champagne and garden furniture were among the items most in demand as the nation celebrated the royal wedding during the sunniest April on record. The BRC also said that groceries had seen an increase as consumers stocked up on beer and food for BBQs.

Despite this filip the BRC warned that retailers remainded under great pressure.

Stephen Robertson, the industry association’s director general, said: “These sales figures are a relief after the dire sales falls we saw in March, but are not the full picture.

“The underlying pressures on the retail sector of climbing costs and depressed consumer spending will be problems for many months to come.”

As well as the extra bank holiday for the wedding, April also saw a very late Easter break, which last year fell partly in March.

But despite the bounce, the BRC said taken together with March’s dismal figure, the picture remained one of near zero growth.

>> Worst high street growth ‘in 15 years’

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