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Consumer confidence gives retailers Easter treat

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Like-for-like retail sales rose 3.2% in the five weeks to 4 April, with total sales up 4.7%, according to the latest British Retail Consortium/KPMG survey. The year-on-year increase, the largest since April 2014, suggests economic uncertainties related to the upcoming general election are having little impact on consumers, although the BRC and KPMG pointed out that spending had been brought forward into March by Easter falling earlier in April than last year. BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: 'An increase in consumers venturing out to shop can be expected at this time of year and although this period is often difficult to measure due to Easter distortions, we saw a marked increase in sales across home categories including furniture and household appliances, even though fashion sales were a bit subdued.' Like-for-like retail sales rose 1.3% over the last quarter, with non-food 2.7% higher and food down 0.4%.

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