But performance sluggish against last year
London's retail like-for-like sales increased 6.3 per cent per cent in May, compared with a rise of 14.1 per cent the previous year, according to the London Retail Consortium's (LRC) monthly sales figures.

Clothing and footwear was hit by the poor weather, but fashion accessories and beauty products held up well. Home and leisure sales were mixed, with some big-ticket items affected by consumer caution, but sales of smaller homewares improved after a poor April.

LRC director Kevin Hawkins said: 'Boosted by visitors from overseas and elsewhere in the UK and by promotions, London sales growth was stronger than for the UK as a whole. With wetter, colder weather than April, thoughts turned back indoors and smaller household items improved.

'But, overall, London sales growth was not as strong as in May 2006 and some retailers reported challenging conditions with evidence that recent interest rate rises are beginning to affect demand, particularly for big-ticket items such as large electricals and furniture.'