Retail valuations remain attractive after consumer confidence showed another improvement in April despite the tough climate, broker Espirito Santo maintained.

Espirito Santo’s Spend Trend survey showed consumer confidence increased for the third month in succession in April. But it said there is still a further 22 points to rise before it gets to the point where consumers are more confident about the future than their current situation.

Espirito Santo expects higher income consumers to prove the most resilient and anticipates DIY and clothing will outperform electricals and home entertainment.

The sector has rallied by 12% in the last six weeks, the broker noted, helped by good weather, a late Easter and royal wedding boosting spending. Analyst Caroline Gulliver said: “We think the sector may well pause for breath here but we think there is still a more fundamental recovery to come.”

Espirito’s preferred stocks include retailers with ‘self-help’ opportunities including Marks & Spencer, Dixons, Kingfisher and Debenhams.