Big spending by Britain’s shoppers sparked the biggest rise in retail sales for six years in March, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The BRC, which represents 90% of the country’s retailers, said like-for-like sales jumped 7.5% last month compared with the same period the year before – the swiftest growth since 1996.

The figures were boosted by strong sales over the Easter weekend, with DIY and gardening the two sectors benefiting most.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff