Strong spending on clothing has helped push up UK retail sales in June, according to new figures published today (23 July), as sunshine and clearance sales gave shoppers a boost.

Year on year, the volume of retail sales in June was 2.9% higher than the same month a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said.

The largest increase was in textile, clothing and footwear stores, where sales climbed 11.3%, driven mainly by clothing stores.

Between May and June, total sales volume was up 1.2%, with textile, clothing and footwear sales rising 4.7%.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the data confirms its own results, which were published last week.

However, BRC director general Stephen Robertson warned "the wholesale turnaround in consumer confidence retailers are looking for remains elusive."

He added: "It's still a picture of needs versus not-nows, with food retailers proving resilient while much of non-food retailing struggles.

"Given uncertainty about jobs is sure to go on rising well into next year, even the sunny weather can't provide enough of a feel good factor to ease customers' nervousness about spending on big-ticket items.

"Lower mortgage costs and energy prices are leaving a lot of people better off than a year ago. But many still favour saving over spending."