Like-for-like retail sales slipped in April as the early timing of Easter impacted the year-on-year picture, according to stores group the British Retail Consortium.

The trade association and lobby group’s monthly BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor recorded a 2.4 per cent LFL decline, with total sales including new space down 1.3 per cent on April 2014.

It said the figures were negatively distorted by the inclusion of the Easter build-up period in March this year, with home categories among those to see a subsequent April stutter.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “While the early Easter this year heavily distorted April’s figures, across all categories, we see the best three month average year-on-year growth since June of last year; a clear indication that confidence among consumers is slowly improving.”

She added: “Among the non-food categories, the only ones which saw a dip were in homewares, which was to be expected due to the timing of Easter. Consumer spending on food over the past three months also increased, with sales rising by 0.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.”

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