A stabilisation in the rate of sales loss for the Daily Star and its sister Sunday title saw them take places one and two in Press Gazette's monthly league table of paid-for circulation growth.
A year ago both titles were losing copies at a rate of 10 per cent or more year-on-year every month, so it appears they may now have flattened out.
The 77-copy year-on-year rise for the Star made it the only national title to put on sales this month – an honour which last month went to the Financial Times.
The FT is down year-on-year for the first time in several months, possibly reflecting a dip in promotional activity on the eve of its relaunch at the end of April. With a marketing campaign currently under way, the FT is likely to be back in the black when the May figures come out next month.
The main circulation growth to be found in the printed press at the moment is in free newspapers. Free London daily City AM has edged above the 100,000 mark for the first time with a new policy of sending its morning distributors into the suburbs to find readers.
Rival London afternoon frees thelondonpaper and London Lite remain buoyant, although thelondonpaper has edged down 2.14 per cent month-on-month to 491,387.
However, an ABC report this week has warned that some of the free circulations may be spurious in the wake of mutual claims of paper dumping between the two London frees.
After conducting "groundwork surveillance" ABC "has identified that copies of newspapers are being dumped which is, obviously, not compliant with the ABC rules".
As a result of the review ABC has urged publishers to increase their controls and compliance checking. It promised more spot checks of distributors and is considering creating a complaints line so that members of the public can report instances of dumping.