RETAIL sales have continued to grow but at a slower pace, a report has revealed.
The CBI's latest distributive trades survey says sales increased year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month in March.
The report said sales are expected to pick up again in the year to April, bringing the growth rate back into line with February, which was the strongest since the onset of the financial crisis.
Key findings included grocers' sales growing 20 per cent, but at the slowest rate for four months, with clothing sales increasing by 27 per cent.
Sales on the internet rose by 55 per cent, their fastest pace for 11 months, with motor traders seeing sales volumes up on last year.
Barry Williams, Asda chief merchandising officer for food and chairman of the CBI distributive trades survey panel, said: “It’s promising to see a run of positive growth rates on the high street.
“We hope this will continue, but there are still signs it needs to be cautious hope.
“The pace of growth has slowed, likely in part down to the later timing of Mother’s Day and Easter this year, which, conversely, is the same reason many retailers are looking forward to more robust growth next month.”