Retail sales continued to surge in May, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Strong sales of clothing and DIY contributed to a rise of 7.4 per cent compared with the same month the year before.
The increase marked the fastest growth in retail sales since April 2002. The sales leap was attributed to the exceptionally warm weather, which put people in the mood for spending on summer fashions and gardening.
Sales volumes increased by 0.8 per cent on the previous month, ahead of the anticipated 0.6 per cent rise.
However, price deflation continued with a fall of 1 per cent in the 12 months to May.