Retail sales were up in July prompting hopes that the signs of a "floor" to the recession are giving consumers more confidence as the summer draws to a close.
According to the British Retail Consortium July sales have shown a spurt not seen since May 2008. Sales were up 1.8% compared with July 2008.
DIY, homewares and furnishings performed well perhaps due to the poor housing market forcing people to stay put and improve rather than move.
Meanwhile food sales slowed due to lower price inflation and growing competition from budget stores like Aldi and Lidl driven by a trend toward caution and frugality.
While the figures are encouraging and some leading economists are predicting a slow rise out of recession later this year, the latest unemployment figures may put a damper on that.
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Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
British Retail Consortium