The Diamond Jubilee bank holiday prompted British shoppers to splash out this month, according to a survey of retailers by the Confederation of British Industry.
The CBI's distributive trades survey sales balance jumped to +42, up from +21 in May, indicating the highest level of activity since December 2010. It was a surprise to City forecasters, who had expected a slowdown.
"The Jubilee provided a much-needed boost to our high streets with many families and communities making the most of the bank holiday," said Judith McKenna, the chair of the CBI survey panel.
Confidence among retailers was also, higher, with the balance of retailers expecting sales growth rising to +32, from +25 in May.
The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics showed a 1.4 per cent rise in retail sales during May. However, this followed a 2.4 per cent decline in April.