More economic certainty is needed before there will be any significant growth in retail figures, it has been suggested.
The latest Retail Sales Monitor from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG revealed a 0.2 per cent decline in sales figures when comparing April 2010 with the same month last year.
However, there was a 3.8 per cent rise when looking at the three months to April in each year, suggesting that there is some stability in the retail sector.
Stephen Robertson, director general at BRC, commented: "April's sales were down on a year ago, but that's because of the Easter effect.
"This April's trading period only included the last two days of Easter, while last year's had the entire build-up and holiday weekend."
He added that it is clear that customers are more willing to spend now than they were 12 months ago, however, "they are still nervous", Mr Robertson explained.
He added that knowing the cuts and changes that will be made by the new government could be better for retail than the current uncertainty.