UK fashion sales continued to decline in August but at a slower rate than previously seen, according to the latest figures released by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

Its monthly High Street Sales Tracker showed fashion sales - previously left reeling by weather that was either too hot or too cold - recovered from sharp falls in earlier months by edging down 0.3% year-on-year.

Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said fashion stores benefited from pent-up demand once the July heatwave eased and shoppers started to look for autumn lines.

Some fashion retailers are posting very strong results but these are being offset by weaker figures from less successful rivals.

Non-fashion sales increased 8.7%, while overall like-for-like high street sales were up 3.5% last month - the highest increase since February.

Williams added: "This has been a strong month overall. This time last year, the feelgood factor came from the Olympics. This year it is being prompted by the change in tone in the media and consumers being less fearful of imminent restructurings and redundancy. There is no doubt confidence is returning slowly."

The strengthening housing market is also boosting sales, he added, as consumers are inclined to spend if they feel more confident despite having less money.