Retail sales rose in April as shoppers splashed out on home and DIY products after two months of consecutive decline.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported in-store sales rose 5.7 per cent last month, the biggest annual rise since April 2011. It dropped by 0.3 per cent on the year in March.
The fall of Easter in April, rather than March, this year contributed to the 4.2% overall like-for-like rise but the BRC said underlying sales were also strong in most sectors other than food and drink.
Total retail spending in the three months to April was 1.9 per cent higher than a year earlier.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at accountants KPMG, said: "Strong April sales figures may have benefitted from Easter falling late this year but it is clear that the effects of the wider economic recovery are feeding through to the retail sector, as evidenced by the 3.3 per cent rise in non-food sales in the last quarter.
“The clothing and footwear segments performed well over the Spring months, benefitting from milder weather than last year.
He added: “The renewed confidence in the housing market inspired homeowners to invest in their property once again.”
House prices have risen by around 10 per cent over the past year and have raised fears a housing bubble may be growing.
Britain's Office for National Statistics releases its April retail sales numbers on May 21.