UK retail sales boosted by July heatwave

2013 saw the fastest July growth for Retails sales in seven years, due to the month’s heatave, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

With sales up by 2.2% compared with last year, July was the third successive month of improving figures. It comes as consumers rushed out to buy swimwear, sandals, sun cream, beer and barbecue foods.

Retail sales had a dismal April, after being hit by the cold start to spring.

The July figures are the best monthly set since the prolonged heatwave in 2006.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, which compiled the figures, said: “July was a golden month for retail sales and marks a return to form for British retailers.

“Hopefully this uptick in sales is another indication that the UK economy has turned the corner towards growth.”

The BRC said it had been a “very solid” sales performance driven by the warm weather as well as deep discounts and offers.

It said that the summer had seen the return of a “feel-good factor”, spawned by a series of sporting triumphs, including Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory and the start of the Ashes series, as well as the arrival of the royal baby.

Online sales grew 7.9%, which is relatively slow and illustrates the power the weather can have in moving people out from behind their computers and back into the shops.