Retail sales in June are up after the World Cup began and summer weather contributed to continued food sales growth that bolstered May. According to the British Retail Consortium, 'food sales growth was similar to May' leaving an overall rise of 1.2 pct in like-for-like.

"Non-food non-store sales (internet, mail-order and phone sales) in June were 17.3% higher than a year ago." said the trade body after its survey, which covers up to 60 pct of actual sales that took place in UK saw a rise in the sale of online TV's.

The British Retail Consortium - a trade association - is a body representing over 90% of small independant retailers and larger department stores. It's data, released today also suggests that retail spending is keeping food prices and other goods affected by inflation low.

Inflation falls 0.2 pct; Worries remain

"It is hard to be optimistic about the prospects for consumer spending." said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight however.

"Consumer confidence has been heading downwards recently, and households face serious headwinds, notably including high unemployment and still falling full-time employment, muted earnings growth, elevated debt levels, high fuel prices and January's value-added tax hike from 15% back up to 17.5%.

"In addition, the substantial fiscal squeeze will increasingly hit public sector jobs and consumers' pockets." he added.

Freddie George, retail analyst added: "The BRC figures, which are broadly in line with expectation, show an improving trend from April and May. Retail sales, which increased by 3.4% vs. 3.0% in May and -0.2% in April, however, remain subdued."

"Outdoor DIY and leisure improved in the sun but at the expense of indoor homewares. We maintain that the underlying trend in food is weakening and recently downgraded our recommendations in the sector." he added.