Retail sales on rise thanks to better weather
Retailers saw sales bounce back during May's better weather - with the strongest growth seen in more than four years as shoppers flocked to garden centres, soaked up the sun in pub beer gardens and splashed out on summer wardrobes.
Total sales increased by 4.1% year-on-year in May, compared with a 0.2% annual increase in May 2017.
This was the highest increase since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions, according to the findings in the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG retail sales monitor.
In April, total retail sales had shrunk sharply by 3.1% year-on-year, with the cold weather seen as partly to blame for households tightening their belts.
Paul Martin of KPMG said: "Two bank holiday weekends, a royal wedding and sunnier spells will have been the main drivers behind the apparent rebound, with both online and high street sales thankfully up overall."
The BRC said sales were recovering ground lost in April.