The British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said retailers had contended with changeable weather patterns with a good result as the outcome. She said:
The signs are that temporary discounts and offers worked well to tempt shoppers into stores and clear some of the stock that had been slow to sell during the preceding months.
This strategy paid off particularly well for furniture and flooring, May's best-performing category.
Customers are still price-conscious but responding well to good deals, especially for big-ticket items. But volatile economic conditions mean that this will remain a delicate balancing act for some time to come.
More top news
A naked man fell through the ceiling of a women's toilet at a US airport before fleeing and "viciously assaulting" an elderly man.
Emeli Sande has said the Band Aid song needs rewriting and apologised if the latest version "caused offence".
A former British soldier who served in Afghanistan is one of a 'growing number' of westerners joining Kurds in the fight against Isis.