Retail sales volume rose 1.2 per cent between May and June, the latest ONS data showed.

Good weather helped fashion and footwear stores, which notched up a 4.7 per cent rise, bringing the advance for the predominantly non-food stores category to 1.6 per cent. Household goods shops suffered a 0.7 per cent decline, driven by electrical goods and hardware.

Sales at predominantly food shops rose 0.7 per cent in the period.

Volume in the three months to June was up 1.3 per cent year on year. Value rose 1.4 per cent over the same period on a seasonally adjusted basis and in June was up 2.5 per cent on June last year.

Barclays Commercial Bank head of retail and wholesale Richard Lowe said: “It is increasingly apparent that declining sales have arrested. June’s figure indicates a healthy increase month on month and, after a poor performance this time last year, 2009’s summer figures are looking more encouraging.”

But Deloitte head of retail Tarlok Teji cautioned: “Today’s figures are certainly welcome but may mask the scale of the challenges facing UK retail.

“The heatwave enjoyed by most of the UK in June brought shoppers to the high street but a real and meaningful recovery for retail still appears some way off.”