Booming sales of replica England shirts ahead of the World Cup in Germany helped UK retailers to a 0.5% month-on month sales rise in May.

The Office for National Statistics said sales were 4% higher than May last year.

On an underlying basis, in the three months from March to May, textiles, clothing and footwear sales were up by 4.3% compared with the same period last year the ONS figures showed.

Commenting on the data, Paul Clarke, national director, retail & wholesale sectors, Barclays business banking said: "Whilst May was modestly encouraging for the high street, with a pick up in retail sales, some of that was down to in-store promotions."

On a cautionary note he added that retail sales are likely to fall during the World Cup as people stay at home rather than go shopping.

"If England move into the next stage then there is the risk of a further impact, with the first game of the second stage scheduled for a Saturday or Sunday.

"So, whilst the country is rooting for England to win, the high street is braced for further disruption should we progress to the knock-out stage."