Feedback from retailers suggested that a sustained period of good weather and royal wedding celebrations encouraged spending in food and household goods stores in May.
Rachel Lund, head of retail insights and analytics at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Consistent with the figures released by the BRC earlier this month, official figures confirmed that May was a good month both on the high street and online.
“The arrival of a consistent spell of summery weather unlocked latent demand for summer wardrobes and outdoor goods. This comes as a welcome sign for retailers that shoppers are still willing to spend, however, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.”
She added: “Trend sales growth remains low; with average year-on-year growth in volumes dropping to just 1.6% over the last twelve months, compared to the 4.2% recorded at this time last year. The economic environment remains tough for both consumers and retailers alike and is likely to remain so for some months to come.”