The latest High Street Sales Tracker from the BDO shows that retail sales grew of two per cent in the five weeks to April 1st.
Trading conditions improved thanks to favourable weather boosting seasonal spending.
In the equivalent period last year, sales were down 1.2 per cent.
The report said: “although the jury is still out on if this improvement will continue for the rest of the year, these figures are a little better than expected.”
The sales tracker monitors the like-for-like sales changes of 70 'mid-teir' retailers and includes approximately 10,000 stores.
Non-store sales at those retailers grew 25.6 per cent, although a healthy rise, it was a drop on the March 2011’s growth of 49 per cent.