The early timing of Ramadan has helped stimulate food sales, delivering high street retailers a much needed boost, the British Retail Consortium said.
Despite tough comparisons from last year, food sales are up, with drinks and ice cream sales increasing along with the temperatures.
Retailers are hoping the imminent arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby, expected in the next few days, will give another boost to the high street as shoppers stock up on champagne and memorabilia.
In new figures released today, the British Retail Consortium said total high street sales grew 2.9% in June, with real terms growth being at 2.3% over the past six months, compared with 1.5% over the past 12 months.
High street retailers have enjoyed two months of increased consumer spending, according to the British Retail Consortium.
- Like-for-like retail sales rose 1.4% in June on a year earlier
- Like-for-like retail sales rose 1.8% in May
The figures lift hopes the retail sector can contribute to growth in the second quarter of this year, with gross domestic product (GDP) expected to rise by at least 0.5%.
"Respectable" growth figures from the first half of the year show retail is continuing to make a recovery, the head of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said. Announcing rising sales from May and June, BRC director general Helen Dickinson said:
Warmer temperatures in May and June lifted sales of clothing and footwear to give the high street a much needed boost, the British Retail Consortium said.
Sales rose for the second consecutive month in June, raising hope that a recovering in consumer spending was beginning to fuel the economy.