The Scottish Retail Consortium said it sees “hints of optimism” in the high street after sector like-for-like sales rose 0.8% in August, compared with a year earlier.

However, a 2.1% rise in food sales accounted for all of the increase. Customers were still reluctant to splash out on items such as clothing and electric goods and non-food sales slid 0.3%.

The Scottish like-for-like sales were better than elsewhere in the UK, after trailing in April, May and July.

Total sales, including newly-opened stores, rose by 5.7% - again food accounted for the lion’s share at 7.7%. while non-food sales climbed 4%.

The Consortium said sales growth had stalled since a sun-driven boost in June, but August showed an improvement on July.

Consortium spokesman Richard Dodd said: “Unsettled and rainy weather hit summer purchases, but consumers were reluctant to buy autumn/winter ranges until they actually need them.”