Retail sales showed positive growth in July, the strongest rate since January this year, although furniture sales slowed due to the hot weather, bringing the 3-month average growth to its lowest level since May 2014.

According to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor July 2016, the 12-month average growth for total retail sales grew by 1.9%, with like-for-like sales up by 1.1% and non-food sales up by 1.4%.

Despite the Furniture category suffering, it did remain in solid growth territory in fourth position in the BRC growth rankings table, highlighting little evidence that the weaker performance of furniture sales is a sign of consumers choosing to put off all larger purchases.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “This month’s solid sales figures may come as a shock to some given the slew of early indicators suggesting that consumer activity was slowing in the wake of the referendum result.

“The big question for retailers is whether that success can be carried forward into full price sales. Whilst retailers continue to monitor the situation in the wake of Brexit, responding to rapid and complex change in consumer behaviour in the midst of a highly competitive market remains the substantive challenge.”