Strong sales of footwear and fashion boosted retail sales by 3.9% in August against the previous year according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said that retail sales volumes in August versus the previous month were up by 1.2%. This growth was driven primarily by fashion and footwear retailers where sales volumes rose by 4.1%.
The ONS figures for August paint a different picture to the British Retail Consortium's sales monitor which showed that retail sales had grown by 1.4% over the month.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "These unexpectedly resilient [ONS] figures fail to convey how tough conditions are for customers and retailers. Plenty of retailers would be delighted if their sales values were up nearly 4% on a year ago."
Robertson added: "Fundamental conditions are weakening, not improving, and recent banking industry uncertainty can only make customers more nervous about spending."
"Yes, clothing and footwear sales growth has risen but that growth is modest and driven by discounts. It cannot be called strong and cannot explain ONS' high overall figures. We respect the ONS's process but tha Bank of England is right to treat these figures as only one measure of retail performance."