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Sales in British supermarkets have risen at their fastest rate in three and a half years, spurred by Easter and inflation-driven prices rises.

Overall grocery sales rose 3.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to April 23, the most since September 2013, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel. The research provider said £325m had been spent on Easter eggs in the period.

Sales growth has been muted in recent years, kept in check by a fierce price war in the UK grocery market, but is now rising propelled by inflation-driven price rises and a weaker pound in the wake of the EU referendum last June.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, added:

All 10 major retailers are in growth for the first time in three-and-a-half years, when we last saw like-for-like grocery inflation as high as it is now. While prices do look set to rise further, the current inflation rate of 2.6% is still below the average level experienced by shoppers between 2010 and 2014.

Premium own label lines are continuing to see huge growth and Morrisons has been making the most of their popularity among consumers. Its ‘The Best’ line is performing well following last year’s launch and has attracted more affluent shoppers through its doors, helping Morrisons become the fastest growing big four retailer.

Of the biggest retailers, Sainsbury’s registered the largest growth in sales, which rose 1.7 per cent – the most in almost three years.

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