High Street sales boosted by Jubilee

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A Diamond Jubilee boost saw retail sales grow at the fastest pace in 18 months in June, business group the CBI said yesterday.

A balance of 42 per cent of retailers reported sales volumes up on a year ago in the first two weeks of June, the highest reading since December 2010, the CBI said.

The survey period covered the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which saw an additional bank holiday, as consumers splashed out on extra food and drink for the celebrations.

Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI distributive trades panel, said: “The Jubilee provided a much-needed boost to our high streets with many families and communities making the most of the bank holiday and coming together to celebrate.”

The figures are positive for the wider economy as the retail industry makes a significant contribution to the powerhouse service sector, which makes up 75 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The economy fell into a technical recession in the first three months of the year as GDP shrank 0.3 per cent, following a 0.3 per cent contraction in the final quarter of 2011.