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London retail sales continue growth despite July washout

LONDON&rsquo;S retail sales growth continued to outpace the rest of the UK last month but with the narrowest lead in nine months, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) will show today.<br /><br />The capital&rsquo;s like-for-like sales increased by 2.2 per cent in July compared with the same month a year earlier when same-store sales were up 5.8 per cent. For the wider UK, like-for-like sales were up 1.8 per cent last month against July 2008.<br /><br />The wettest July on record and the end of many clearance sales combined to produce the second lowest monthly sales growth of 2009, with sales of clothing, footwear and outdoor living goods slump as rainfall forced consumers to focus on indoor items such as homewares and furniture. Food sales also slowed after June&rsquo;s heatwave-driven boost.<br /><br />BRC director general Stephen Robertson, said London still outperformed the rest of the UK. He said: &ldquo;The pound&rsquo;s weakness against the euro continued to attract visitors from Western Europe. There were also more Middle Eastern visitors shopping in the capital before Ramadan. But like British shoppers, the overseas visitors have become more cautious about spending.&rdquo;<br /><br />During July, shoppers preferred core basics to discretionary goods.