Central London retail like-for-like sales in London climbed 9.9% in March, more than double the rate of the rest of the UK.

The inclusion of Good Friday and Easter Saturday in the period boosted performance, and sterling’s weakness drew European shoppers to the capital over the holiday period.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson described the performance as “strong” and said: “This year’s earlier Easter boosted food sales in particular. The Easter holiday encouraged more British families to come to London and combined with the weak pound, attracted visitors from western Europe and China in particular.”

He said that pre-election uncertainty is still making consumers nervous but that “London shoppers are more willing to spend than those elsewhere.”

In London’s West End shopping district, including Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, sales increased by 13.5% in March, according to the New West End Company. The increase was driven by UK domestic shoppers.