The value of goods sold in the retail sector in July increased by 2.2 per cent when compared with July 2012, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
It marks the third consecutive month of positive retail sales growth and is the fastest July increase since 2006. Online sales grew by 7.9 per cent on the year.
After a small fall in sales values in January this year, February saw growth of 4.4 per cent. A modest rise in March was followed by a 2.2 per cent fall in April, which was attributed in part to the earlier-than-usual Easter weekend. Since April's disappointing figures, however, sales values have grown for three months in a row.
The BRC's director general, Helen Dickinson, said that British involvement and successes in major sporting events had contributed to a 'positive summer feeling'.
Dickinson said: "This is a very solid sales performance, the second best month this year and better than we've seen in any July since 2006. It has been driven by the warm weather and retailers working hard to offer deep discounts and great offers to their customers, with the reduction in shop prices we reported for July translating into more generous spending in UK stores.
"While we know that the picture is still variable and the high street in particular continues to face considerable challenges, these positive results will be welcomed in town centres around the country that depend so much on retailers performing well."
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