Retail sales in the UK increased at a slower pace in the year to March, according to the latest ‘Distributive Trades Survey’ by CBI.

The survey, which involved 106 firms, showed that sales have increased year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month, but weakened more than expected in the last month.

Grocers recorded slow growth rate while non-specialised stores such as department stores, witnessed fall in sales.

Internet retail sales volumes continued to increase strongly during the period.

According to CBI, the sales are again expected to rise in the year to April and will bring the growth rate in line with February, which was strongest since the financial crisis.

CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel chair and Asda food chief merchandising officer Barry Williams said it is promising to see a run of positive growth rates on the high street, with sales up on a year ago for the fourth month in a row.

"The pace of growth has slowed, likely in part down to the later timing of Mother’s Day and Easter this year – conversely, this is the same reason many retailers are looking forward to more robust growth next month."