A review of all the retail trading statements issued on the London Stock Exchange during the first quarter of 2007 has shown an increase in the number of positive statements, suggesting that the retail environment may be improving, said business and financial adviser Grant Thornton.

The Grant Thornton Quoted Retail Companies Index has shown that 44% of all listed retailers issued positive trading statements for the first three months of the year - up from the 33% of positive statements issued in 2006. And 46% issued neutral statements leaving only 10% to issue negative statements.

David Bush, head of Grant Thornton’s retail services team said: "This quarter’s results have been buoyed by the strong increase experienced in the food and drink sector, with 83% of grocers issuing positive trading statements during the quarter."