Retail sales in London last month grew at their slowest rate this year, according to the BRC-KMPG London Retail Sales Monitor.

Like-for-like sales grew 1.6 per cent against a 4.1 per cent uplift for the period from March to May. The numbers still put London comfortably ahead of the rest of the UK, which saw sales in May slipping into negative territory, -0.8 per cent behind the same period in 2008.

Less favourable weather than a year earlier was blamed for the dip, although the advantageous exchange rate continued to attract visitors to the capital. Generally, food retailers saw sales slowing after April’s Easter boost, while clothing, footwear and outdoor living continued to sell on sunny days, but less strongly than last May. Homewares and furniture remained problematic.

Stephen Robertson, director-general of the BRC, said: “The favourable exchange rates continued to attract overseas visitors to London, though western European tourists tended to be more cautious about their spending.”