Shop vacancy rates increased to their highest recorded level in June.

The Local Data Company’s (LDC) monthly barometer showed shop vacancy rates in the UK edged up 0.05% to 14.6%.

The number of empty shops in the top 650 town centres currently stands in excess of 23,000.

LDC director Matthew Hopkinson said: “June’s rise in shop vacancy should not be considered as a negative change in light of the change being a mere 0.05%. It shows stability in unstable times but the national figure hides the regional and local variances.”

He added: “Recent weak reports on the economy and retail sales figures show that the pressure remains on shops up and down the country.

“While the Olympics will bring a boost for London and the Southeast, as the recent census results did in population numbers, the same cannot be said for other parts of the country.”

The LDC will release its biannual shop vacancy report on September 4.