Clothing recorded the best performance in August, reaching its strongest growth since April 2011, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
It said that retailers were "blessed with a hot start to their summer clearances", followed by a showery and cooler second half, making the autumn new ranges attractive and relevant as they arrived on display.
Overall sales grew 2.7% over the month, rising 1.3% on a like-for-like basis. Non-food grew 2.9% on a three-month weighted average basis.
“August has recorded the strongest growth in retail sales since January this year, excluding Easter distortions, accelerating to 2.7%,” said BRC director general Helen Dickinson.
“This was driven in the main by the best growth of clothing and footwear since December 2011, indicating a higher level of consumer confidence in the economy. Retailers have pointed to the successful launch of their autumn fashion collections helped by the cooler weather, as well as a good response to marketing campaigns for back to school clothing. Furniture sales also did well as the strength of the housing market continues although not as well as in July.”