Easter distortions aside, the three-month average figures paint a positive picture and show the highest like-for-like sales increases since December 2009.
On the back of strong January and February results, this may be the beginning of a positive trend and will be welcomed by many retailers.
With Easter falling early this year, the April sales comparatives will be negatively affected but it is hoped that the positive bounce of the first quarter of 2013 can continue to be felt across the country, buoyed by the opening of new shopping centres in cities such as Leeds.
More top news
The 70-year-old spoke of finding light in the darkness.
The Easter weather and climate protesters feature on the Friday front pages.
Mr Mueller’s report, covering 448 pages, was finally released on Thursday.