Retail sales rose by 3.4% in June as shoppers slowly returned to the high street.

The British Retail Consortium said that sales had grown for the first time since lockdown and at their fastest rate since May 2018. However, in a blow to bricks and mortar, growth was driven by online sales, with online spending on non-food items rising 48.2% in June compared with the same month last year, nearly three times the yearly average.

A separate report from Barclaycard found that consumer spending fell by 14.5% year-on-year in June. This was the smallest decline since lockdown began, which suggests that the downturn has bottomed out.