Retail sales volumes in June grew 3.6%, compared to last year and by 0.1% on the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics.
All retail sectors posted an increase in sales volumes year-on-year, which was last seen in March 2012.
Sales values rose 3.5%, compared to June 2013 and by 0.8% on the previous month. The average weekly spend in June was £7.1bn across the retail industry, compared with £6.8bn last year and £6.9bn in May.
Lloyds Bank commercial banking retail sector relationship manager Paul Harland said: “Clothing retailers in particular benefited from a spell of warm weather and the arrival of peak holiday season, which increased demand for swimwear, shorts and summer dresses.”
However, he said it wasn’t such sunny news for the grocers: “For grocery retailers England’s early exit from the World Cup was a significant blow as they had earmarked the tournament as an opportunity to regain some of the ground lost by their aggressive discounting campaigns.”
Over a three-month period, sales volumes increased 1.6%, showing continued growth for the sixteenth consecutive period. This is the highest quarter since March 2004 and has been the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.
EY head of retail Julie Carlyle said: “The increased spend in the retail industry reflected in the ONS figures is perhaps aligned to the boost in the labour market through rising employment. However, there is a note of caution as consumers hold back due to concern over the potential interest rate rise.”
Online sales rose by 13.4% in June year-on-year, but fell 0.1% on the previous month, which is the first time since January.
Harland added: “Looking ahead retailers will be hoping for a prolonged spell of good weather and a positive response to their summer sales to boost footfall and growth.”