The value of UK retail sales grew 2.3 per cent in July compared with the same month a year ago, according to figures produced for the British Retail Consortium.
Sales improved in July as the heatwave boosted sales of hot weather essentials.
Sales last month were 10.6 per cent higher than in the pre-pandemic month of July 2019.
Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “Despite being faced with a once in a generation type cost of living crisis amid runaway inflation and soaring household bills, many consumers have found space in their tight budgets to spend to make the most of the summer months.
“After a bruising two years and the Covid-stricken summers of 2020 and 2021, it is understandable that consumers are spending on fun in the sun, but it is important to address changes in our regular spending as well.
“Balancing out your budget and getting clear on your summer priorities are key. As you go through your budget, see if you can replace some expenses that are more acute in the winter months, like the cost of heating your home, with spending you anticipate taking on over the summer. But, when money is tighter than usual, it is inevitable that tough decisions will have to be made and some summer plans will go unfulfilled.
“For many consumers, the bumper spending on entertainment and summer apparel has been offset by a more frugal approach to regular shopping, with shoppers increasingly switching out premium brand products with cheaper alternatives and visiting discount supermarkets.
“The fact remains that money is tight for many, and with the cost-of-living squeeze set to become more acute in the coming months, effective budgeting is crucial to enjoying summer without leaving a lasting financial impact.”