Like-for-like retail sales rose 3.9% last month, according to data from the British Retail Consortium.

Total sales rose 6.2% on a year ago. However, the BRC warned the results were against a poor performance in March 2006 when sales fell 1.4%.

“While these results are obviously welcome they must be set against the poor sales performance we reported a year ago,” said BRC director general Kevin Hawkins.

“Discounting and competition generally shows no sign of easing off and many consumers are increasingly wary of making big purchases.”