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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 April 2006, 01:23 GMT 02:23 UK
Easter shopping bonanza expected
Shoppers passing sales sign
Retail sales have been sluggish so far this year
Retailers are hoping for an Easter bonus this bank holiday weekend, with consumers spending a record 10.5bn.

Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts that households will spend an average of 434, up 2% on last Easter.

The CEBR said shoppers will be drawn out by some good weather, itching to hit the High Street as the long cold winter draws to an end.

It said 650m would be spent on new clothes and footwear, up 3% on 2005.

Shoppers would also be feeling richer because take home pay is 3.7% higher in March 2006 compared to the same month in 2005.

The CEBR said that rising confidence in the housing market was also boosting consumer confidence.

The retail sector certainly needs some bumper Easter sales.

Earlier in April, the British Retail Consortium reported that sales in March had fallen at their fastest rate since last July, damaged by the cold weather and this year's late Easter.


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