Retail sales in central London have continued to outpace the UK as a whole.

The British Retail Consortium said retail sales were 8.7 per cent higher than a year earlier on a like-for-like basis. This was slightly weaker than the 11 per cent rise in June last year, but stronger than the 0.4 per cent decline in the UK as a whole.

Retail footfall in London was also higher than the same period last year, but slightly weaker than in May this year.

Although many US and Japanese shoppers have been discouraged by the weak dollar and yen, western Europeans have been taking advantage of the strength of the euro in the capital.

Homewares, especially big-ticket items such as furniture, remained tough because of household budgets and the weakness of the housing market.

BRC business information team senior analyst Joscelyne Hynard attributed the sales rise in central London to the quantity of clearance Sales and the few sunny days that brought shoppers out looking for bargains.

BRC director-general Stephen Robertson also highlighted the rising costs of driving to shopping centres further afield and the higher than average incomes of London residents as factors contributing to the rise.

Robertson said: “This is a strong result for London. The mood among central London customers is clearly different from the rest of the UK.”