The Daily Mirror showed its first month-on-month sales rise since January with a 1.9 per cent increase in May.
The good news for the Mirror came as The Sun’s run of monthly circulation rises ended with it reporting a small drop, 0.14 per cent, on April.
Mirror editor Piers Morgan said: “It is very pleasing to see such a marked bounce back in our circulation in an otherwise flat month for most papers. There is now a level playing field – newspapers are selling on quality, not price at the news-stand.”
The Daily Record also reported its first month-on-month rise since the start of the year.
The malaise afflicting the national quality dailies shows no sign of being cured. All, with the exception of The Scotsman, were down in May on April The sector is more than 5 per cent down on the same six-month period last year, the worst performance of any part of the national press.
In contrast, the popular daily market is showing an overall year-on-year increase of more than 2 per cent. It has been boosted by the strong performances of the Daily Star, up 31 per cent year-on-year, and The Sun, up more than 3 per cent on last year.
The Mail and Express mid-market dailies and Sundays are also showing gains year-on-year. In the popular Sunday market there were monthly rises for the Daily Star Sunday, the Sunday Mail and Sunday Sport.
The quality Sundays are suffering along with their daily counterparts. The Sunday Times lost 4.7 per cent on April and The Observer was down 2.6 per cent. There was some good news. The Business broke through the 100,000 barrier with a 6.3 per cent rise.
By Jon Slattery