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Early Ramadan boosts food sales

Worshippers attend Friday Prayers at Langley Green Mosque in Crawley, West Sussex. Credit: Chris Young/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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 hoping for royal baby boost

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.

Pregnant Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 15. Credit: Press Association/Patrick van Katwijk

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 spending up for second month

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' shows retail recovery 'continuing'

"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:

Despite challenging economic conditions continuing, June saw another strong performance from the UK's retailers, with very respectable overall growth across the categories.

At this halfway point in the year we are able to see that sales are well ahead of the previous six-month period, confirming that the retail recovery is continuing.

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